Canaries: care, social behaviour, nutrition, housing, breeding

Canaries have many assets that make them the ideal bird for first-timers. They are charming, cheerful, and they sing beautifully ... Read more about them.

What species: finches

What it looks like: often bright yellow, but there are 400 color variations, from dark red to orange, pink and gray to yellow-green and white. 30 g

Where it comes from: Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira

How long it lives: 12 years

Number of eggs per nest: 4-5

Did you know? Canaries can be crossed with other finch species to create unique crossbreeds.

Canary: the primordial bird

Canaries are little charmers, and perfect for beginners. Pleasant pet birds, with a cheerful character and a pleasant, melodious voice. The canary is also affordable and available at just about any pet store. The birds are bred for their singing ability, colour and/or shape.

Social behaviour and care

Canaries are intelligent birds that can be tamed and trained with patience and practice. Although they enjoy the company of humans, they are a bit more aloof than parakeets or parrots.

In fact, the canary is a loner. So he doesn't mind being alone in a cage. In an aviary, it can also live alongside other small birds. Don’t put two male canaries together in one cage, however, as there is a good chance they will fight.


In the wild, canaries eat seeds, occasionally supplemented with an insect or two. At home, you give your bird either specially developed pellets, with all the essential nutrients in the right proportions, or a good quality seed mixture (e.g. Prestige Premium Canary Mix, expressly designed for canaries. For example, recessive white canaries cannot produce vitamin A. This must therefore be added to their diet through their feed (Orlux egg food dry bianco). Remove the seed husks from eaten seeds daily.

Further to this, offer your canary fresh greens daily, such as kale, broccoli, dandelions, spinach, celery, peas and/or watercress. Small amounts of apples, oranges, grapes, bananas or melons are also okay.


A single canary needs a cage that is at least 50 cm deep and 60 cm long. These birds like to fly around, so give them an elongated cage to give them the necessary flying space.

The bars should be relatively close together (no more than 1.25 cm wide), to prevent the bird from getting its head stuck between them. Place wooden perches of different diameters (1 to 2 cm) in the cage, on which your canary can rest and train its legs.

Canaries are hardy birds. Room temperature is fine for them, but keep them away from drafts, air conditioners and direct sunlight. In addition, provide a shallow dish of water or a bathtub.

Cover the cage at night. After all, canaries need their rest. In addition, it is not healthy to expose canaries to artificial light late at night. This can cause them stress.


Canaries can raise young several times a year. They prefer to lay their eggs in half-open nests in a high, sheltered place. The hen lays an egg every day for about four days. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for two weeks, after which they work together for two weeks to care for and feed the chicks until they fly out. Even when they can already fly, the male still feeds them regularly.

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