Many people choose to raise canaries because of their beautiful song. It’s important to remember, though, that not all canaries will sing! If that’s a selling point for you, be sure to keep that possibility in mind. Mature male canaries are most likely to sing for you, but only under the right conditions.
There are several things that you can do to encourage your canary to sing. Read on to learn some skills for taking care of your pet canary and you may receive a serenade in return!
How Can I Encourage My Canary to Sing?
Identifying the Sex of Your Canary
As mentioned above, owning a male canary will increase your chance of having a canary that will sing. It can be difficult to identify a male canary from a female, so be sure to consult the pet store owner or breeder.
If you can’t communicate with an expert, you can try to identify the sex yourself. If you check the cloaca area of the bird, which is just in front of the underside of the bird’s tail feathers (according to WikiHow), you may be able to see a bump in the area which will indicate that the canary is a male.
Play Canary Songs for Your Canary
You can also encourage your canary to sing by playing video and audio recordings of canaries singing. Canaries learn to sing by hearing other canaries in the wild, so this will help to stimulate their vocal activity.
If you play different canary songs for your bird throughout the day, the canary will begin to imitate the songs they are hearing. Over time, they will begin to develop their own unique song that they’ll hold in their memory.
This will happen much more quickly if you play canary sounds for them three to four times per day. You can either use the internet to find canary songs or you can use an actual adult canary, but if you choose the latter, be sure that they are separated from the canary in training.
Talk to or Sing to Your Canary
If you’re feeling up to it, you may even want to sing to or talk to your canary. These sounds will often encourage them to sing back.
Male canaries sing to attract a mate, so it’s best to keep female canaries out of the sight of the male if you want him to sing. If he has a female cage-mate, he’ll have no reason to sing because he already has the company he wants!
The most important way to encourage singing in your canary is to keep them happy and well-cared for.
How Do I Keep My Canary Happy?
Healthy, Balanced Diet
Feeding your canary a well-rounded diet will keep them very happy. Bird seed works just fine, but you may want to supplement their bird seed diet with leftover fruit and veggie scraps as well to keep them extra healthy. Be sure to keep their bird seed in a different container than the fruits and veggie scraps. Always be sure to keep fresh, clean water in your canary’s cage.
Physical and Mental Stimulation
Birds need both mental and physical entertainment and stimulation. Boredom can affect the mood of your canary and keep them from singing. Keeping male canaries together can provide entertainment, though it can also sometimes lead to fighting. Your local pet store will likely have perches and hanging toys for your birds to play with and will keep them entertained.
Comfortable Living Space
Your canary needs to maintain a comfortable home and temperature. Room temperature is just fine; be sure to keep them in a room where they will see people and interaction throughout the day.
Your canary also needs a comfortably sized cage. If it is too small, this could affect its mood and discourage it from singing. One canary should have at least a medium-sized birdcage, and if you have multiple canaries, you should have an even larger cage. Cleaning the cage regularly is important.
Eliminate Loud Sounds
Canaries are sensitive to sound and can become stressed out with too much noise. Make sure you place the canaries in a place where they can enjoy peace and harmony in your home. If they’re next to a window with a loud and busy street outside, this may cause them distress.
Canaries sleep around 12 hours per day, so giving them a space where they can sleep uninterrupted will keep them healthy.
Keep your canary clean! You can do this by misting your canary a couple of times a week with a spray bottle of water. Canaries maintain their own hygiene and groom themselves regularly, so make sure that there is clean water in their cage for them to groom with.
When Will My Canary Start to Sing?
Canaries usually begin singing after their first molting. This time period usually comes around in the Autumn and usually after 6 months of age. When they become independent from their parents, they are more likely to begin singing on their own as well.
What If My Canary Still Won’t Sing?
If you’ve attempted all of the above methods for getting your canary to sing and are still not having success, you may want to consider the following things.
Your canary may be molting. This is when birds shed their feathers and begin to grow new ones. Your canary will not sing while it is molting and when it is not mating season.
Your canary may be experiencing sickness. If you notice fluffed feathers, missing feathers, or if you notice your bird plucking out its feathers, you may want to consult your veterinarian. If you notice any swelling or coughing or wheezing, your bird may be sick. Watch for any injuries as well—if your bird stops flying or eating, it may have an injured wing or foot.
Ultimately, your veterinarian will know best, so consult them when necessary. Your canary needs proper and consistent care to be successful in their singing career.