November 2, 2023

Canary Games (CLOSED)!

This is late notice, but a last minute idea to keep myself occupied while the IFFCA National Show is being held... and I made the last minute decision to STAY HOME!  Oh, dear.  I needed something to occupy myself with this weekend, so HERE ARE THREE CANARY GAMES, coming Friday, November 3, Saturday, November 4th, and Sunday, November 5th!  NOTE:  I am testing our first ever Canary Chat Zoom meeting, to talk canaries, with a guest Tom Cubbage, of Bird Connection, from Great Falls, MT!!!  Tom is an exotic bird breeder, Manx cat breeder, beekeeper, and a nationally recognized educator.... and more.  Saturday November 4th at 2 p.m. Montana time MST is the day and time of the chat.... please message my Facebook page @SavoySingersAviary for an invitation! 

September 29, 2023

2023 IFFCA Fife National Show November 4th in Fall River, Massachusetts

The International Fife Fancy Club of America (IFFCA) will host their 2023 Fife National Show alongside the SEMCC (Southeastern Massachusetts Canary Club) in Fall River, Massachusetts on November 4, 2023.  This show is in the Heart of the Fife Fancy in the USA!  Plus, there will be a full show of other canary types/colors, plus a section of finches and mules.  It is a one day, open show, with sales tables, silent auction birds, and some of the best Fife breeders in America entering birds!  We are happy to have Michael Major, from England, as our judge for the Fife Fancy.  Details on the club website, link below photo.

August 13, 2023

 Various canary clubs will soon be publishing their show booklets! I will help by purchasing an ad in their catalogs!

May 1, 2023

Join a Canary Club --- the benefits may surprise you!

The birds themselves are the reason I own canaries!  But two things have given me great JOY since I began keeping canaries.

NUMBER ONE is finding a mentor.... an experienced bird keeper who has wisdom to share and patience to keep helping you for several or many years.  A Huge THANK YOU goes to Bruce Thompson, of Canary One Aviary, Tom Cubbage, of Bird Connection, and Susan Bergel, of Susan's Canaries.

There is not a local bird club within driving distance here in Montana, so I chose several out of state clubs to join.  I chose several breed-specific clubs, and a 'local-but-not-local-to-me' club, based outside my state of Montana, in the Portland OR to Vancouver WA area. 

I HIGHLY recommend joining this, or other club, even if you are unable to attend physical meetings. Do a little homework, email or call a few members, and ask if they have a regular newsletter.  You will get a feel for their attitude by their responses.


The Columbia Canary Club has members outside their immediate area, with most members sharing the 'bond that binds them' in their November Show and several Sales throughout the year.  I was encouraged to join by Lori who owns Yellowstone Finches, after she told of her trips to the CCC show with a car load of caged birds!  :)  

The club made a decision to continue their monthly meetings even through Covid restrictions and began Zoom meetings.  This was great for me as I was able to join in their Zoom meetings!  I have been so fortunate to learn a little about the members that attended.  They are a group with genuine friendships among the group. They are a large group of people who celebrate their common love of birds.  They are interested in YOU and YOUR birds, and listen to YOU.   I have found them welcoming!  :)

They are dedicated to their show, and exhibiting their birds. Many members attend  the National Bird Show as a group, with many also exhibiting their birds... and winning. They are serious, knowledgeable bird owners, willing to learn about your birds and to help with questions or problems you may have.

On a 'normal' year, I would not be attending meetings since there are many, many miles between Montana and Oregon!  And, in the foreseeable future, I will not be able to exhibit or attend a CCC show.  But, I am so enjoying being a member of the Columbia Canary Club!

I volunteered to help 'from a distance' and was given an opportunity to help with their Facebook group.

They have an amazing monthly newsletter that is worth the price of membership.
There are interesting articles, many written by club member.
There are cartoons, humorous tidbits, and ads of birds for sale.
The club has an active Facebook group.
The obvious membership benefit of club leg bands is also available.


I am finding help, advice and encouragement from members of the International Fife Fancy Club of America.  This is a 'specialty club' with members from across the USA, who share a common love for the Fife Fancy canary.  Their annual meeting is in person at the National Bird Show.   This is my third year as member, and am currently serving as Secretary and Director on their Board.  Thanks to the supportive and encouraging members who have answered my questions, I am planning to attend a national show in 2023 with birds to exhibit!

The club traces it's first meetings back to the early 1960's and is dedicated to providing valuable information about care, breeding, and exhibiting Fife Fancy canaries.  Both experienced breeders and first time pet owners are on the membership list.  There is a Facebook group, newsletter, and current website to provide good information to both champion and novice breeders as well as addicted pet owners.  Breed specific leg bands are sold to members.

I am involved in the Facebook group of this club as well as helping with the newsletter.  This group amazes me with the list of ideas/activities they are hoping to begin over the next year.  Wow, there is energy to spare in this club!  In the recent past, the club has hosted the Fife Fancy Division at the NBS.  I am so happy to be involved in their new goals.

OTHER CLUBS of which I am a member:

The American Singer breed-specific club I joined is the only source for bands of this specific breed, and maintains a breeder registry.  I have found members with show cages to sell (which are no longer being manufactured and impossible to find new).  I feel I would be able to find help with specific problems if I asked.  There are affiliated local chapters around the USA, and these clubs may be an appropriate place to find a mentor, advisor, or fellowship at local meetings.  I have been a long-distance member for seven years, and unable to attend a song contest, but all members are welcome to attend with birds or just to watch/learn.  Dragon Chapter 22 of the ASC is one regional club located in Michigan.

I am also a member of the Florida Canary Fanciers Club, just for the opportunity to attend their virtual meetings and to be aware of the news of shows and various activities they may be planning.  They also have a Facebook group for members to ask questions. 

A club that may seem unusual for me to join is the London Fancy Club.  It is a UK based breed specific club.  I am a member for two reasons:  1)  I love the look of the London Fancy canary.  I have one family line that has 'matched variegation' although not of the type as the London Fancy. 2) I would love to own a few London Fancy canaries, and I am anxiously watching the breeders' efforts and results.  Maybe someday, there will be London Fancies in Montana, USA! 

If you are able to attend a club near you, please do so!
If you cannot find a local club, please consider joining a regional or national club!

Here is a list of clubs, most within the USA, both national and regional.  Some clubs are cage bird associations, not limited to canaries.  Others are dedicated to a single breed.

April 25, 2023

Questions and Answers #3 -- I don't want to breed, just have a group of colorful birds to watch!

"I don't want to breed canaries;  I just want a colorful group to watch!"
When I hear this comment, it sends chills up my spine. 

Most often people who start out by saying these words end up coming back for more birds in a year or two!  "I don't know what happened.. they just seemed to die one at a time.  Oh, it was heartbreaking!  It will be so much fun to have a cage full again!  I want to buy another dozen!"

There go the chills again!  I am learning to say NO to these people. 

One local lady had a very pretty corner acrylic-enclosed aviary, medium to small sized.  She owned larger birds such as Amazons and cockatiels, each in their own cages with lots of space and play tops.  But she put 8 canaries, one hen and seven males, in her 'small' acrylic 'aviary'.... and watched them chase that poor hen mercilessly, continuously.  One by one the males were found dead or fatally injured.  Finally, the lone survivor at the end of a year's time died too.

When she came back for more canaries, the first time, I dropped some very obvious pointers that maybe a bachelor's-only house would be best suited.  Nope, she wanted that little hen too. 

A year passed, and when she came looking to buy again, I told her no.  And I didn't sugar coat it with half truths about not being ready to sell.  I told her I was not sending my birds home with her to their certain death.

LET ME TELL YOU THIS TRUTH:  Even if YOU have made the decision not to raise young canaries, your birds will not understand!  Instinct, as Nature intended, tells them to nest, lay eggs and all of the other behaviors of reproduction, including territorial fighting!

These behaviors include building nests, laying eggs, and mating with the opposite sex.  These behaviors are perfectly harmless... even laying eggs.  A hen is so happy and content building a nest, and then incubating eggs.  She won't mind at all if you replace her real eggs with any type of small fake egg or marble. You can leave the nest and fake eggs under her for two or three weeks or until she decides the eggs won't hatch.  She will be a little thin after sitting on the nest with no activity.  But, that is just the cycle of nature and she will gain weight soon enough.  If she wants to nest a second time, put the nest back in and swap the fake eggs for her eggs.  She will be happy, doing what she was born to do.  :)

However, some behaviors of birds in a group are destructive!

Canaries, both males and females, are territorial by nature, in the wild.  Wild song birds are also.  We see wild birds flock together for migration, but nesting adults are separated by yards, often miles in some species.  We've all seen robins dive bombing cats, dogs and other birds that get too close to their chosen nesting space.

So, multiple males together in a flight will fight!  Even hens will tear into each other over a favorite nesting spot or perch.  And no cage or flight, no matter how large, can duplicate the wide outdoors in allowing space to get away from competing birds.

Because they are COMPETING!  Nature provides an instinct for survival, for defense, and for aggressive behavior to scare away other birds that would compete for a mate, for food, for that quiet hidden perch on which to relax and sleep.

These instincts, natural urges, will vary with the seasons.  A group of mixed sex canaries may co-exist calmly during the winter, when they are in their natural rest period.  But, as soon as the longer days of spring come, their hormones will switch to breeding mode.  Males will begin chasing the hens and fighting with each other.  Hens will fight with each other over nesting spots or to be first at the seed dish.

Canaries chasing each other all around the cage or flight are NOT playing tag!

The answer?  Rather than debate and wonder about how to build the flight larger, it is WISE to BUY a colony species, such as finches that prefer the comfort of a group all together. If you must have canaries, a group of all hens or all males MAY (?) get along  better if they are the same sex.  A pair MAY (?) get along most of the year, but not necessarily always. Be prepared to remove any aggressive bird, male or female into a separate cage.

Temporary solutions include: put in MANY perches, at different levels, so competing birds do not have to look at one another.  Put in fake greenery to subdivide the space, allowing one male to be quietly eating out of sight of any bird looking for a fight.  Use multiple feed dishes, also at different heights or out of sight.  Use multiple water dishes and bath dishes.  

I repeat:  Birds of the same sex may co-exist peacefully together during the winter and during the molt.  But keep an eye on their behavior:  as soon as their hormones say it is Spring and time for breeding, there will be fighting, serious fighting!

April 15, 2022

Softfood and Birdie Bread Recipes

 I was recently asked what I fed for soft food during breeding season.  I like my homemade mix and birdie bread, but also feed a commercial egg food mix for saving time.  I have found the commercial mixes are similar, but after testing three readily available brands, I prefer the Higgins brand.  The birds seemed to like it, the chicks did well, and it's price was in the middle.

Here is a pdf of my Soft Food and Birdie Bread Recipes!

January 5, 2022

My Record-Keeping Forms, with working links!

 If you are looking for my RECORD-KEEPING forms, and found broken links, here is a list of the forms, with proper links!