June 20, 2016
An Update on My Canaries
Some of you have asked for an update on my canaries… and I’m happy to report all of them are doing very well. The baby birds are growing, and there are more eggs waiting to hatch.
As many of you know, I’ve been raising canaries for a number of years and I just love their beautiful singing, but caring for birds is a big responsibility - one I never take lightly. It requires time and diligence to keep their environments clean, with ample amounts of fresh food and water. And, in return, these birds provide wonderful company, melodious song and curious, active personalities.
Here are some recent photos of my red factor canaries.
1 One of the focal points at my Bedford, New York home is my large canary cage, which contains a number of beautiful and melodious red and orange canaries.
2 Named after its beautiful plumage, the red factor canary, Serinus canaria domestica, is one of the most popular canary breeds.
3 Canaries are generally good-natured, social creatures. Healthy canaries will always have clear, bright eyes, clean, smooth feathers and curious, active dispositions.
4 First bred in the early 1900s, this canary is the only color-bred variety with a "red factor" as part of its genetic makeup. They were originally developed by crossing a red siskin and a yellow canary.
5 Red factor canaries need certain nutrients to maintain their bold, colorful plumage. Fresh foods containing beta-carotene, canthaxanthin and carotenoids along with greens and the appropriate canary seed make up a good well-balanced diet.
6 I provide multiple feed bowls with a buffet of seeds along with all their fresh vegetables and fruits.
7 A canary's metabolism is very fast, so it's important to be observant of their eating needs and habits.
8 Their bold colors can range in shades of light peach to apricot to orange to red.
9 To keep my canary count under control, prevent inbreeding and maintain healthy bloodlines, I give birds away from time to time, so others can enjoy them.
10 If you choose to keep canaries, be sure to get the largest cage your budget allows, so they have ample room to exercise.
11 Canaries love to see people, and will often recognize regular visitors to their cage.
12 All canaries like to bathe, so they should also be offered a bird bath with clean water.
13 I always provide natural cut branches in the canary cage for the birds to sit on - they love perching on them.
14 Usually a hen will lay between two and five eggs. The mother canary typically won't sit on her eggs for the first two days of laying, but once she begins to sit tight, she will remain there most of the time until the eggs hatch. This period is called "setting".
15 Here is another hen sitting on her eggs. The incubation for canary eggs is about 14-days. Mother hens are very protective of their nests and eggs.
16 When hatched, the red factor canary is a pale peach or orange. These birds are about three weeks old and have already left the nest, but are still developing their feathers.
17 At this age, they often sit on low perches. These young birds are perching with their parents.
18 Fledglings benefit from watching their parents and siblings. The parents will continue to feed their young for a couple more weeks.
19 By the 30th day, these young birds will be fully weaned and will continue to grow. At six months canaries are adults.
20 The bold color and alert expression are both signs of good health.
21 These canaries are vibrant, sing all the time, and listen to classical music all day.
22 A well built red factor canary is about five to six inches in length, and can weigh up to 29 grams, or just over an ounce.
23 Canary nails need to be clipped every six months. If not, it can be difficult for the birds to sit comfortably on a perch.
24 Healthy and well-cared for canaries can live at least 10 to 12 years or more.
25 All my canaries love to look out the window, flap their wings and fly from perch to perch.
26 I just love the males' beautiful singing - canaries are wonderful creatures.