December 22, 2017

The Best Advice for Your First Canary

I was fortunate to have received GOOD ADVICE when I was buying my first canaries, from several breeders and hobbyists.  Their words of wisdom have proven helpful since that first day I put my new birds into a cage in my house, and to this day are the basics I follow every day in my bird room.

To those who are thinking of getting a Canary Companion, and to those who have emailed with questions, I will pass along the tips and instructions that I feel guaranteed my enjoyment of canaries as companions and exciting 'housemates'.

# 1 -- The very first TIP:  find a breeder or hobbyist to talk to personally.
If you can find someone close enough to visit, by all means do so.  If you must look online for a 'canary mentor', there are many places to find someone willing to help.  And don't give up if the first person just wants to sell you a bird.  I found three or four breeders online who took the time to ask ME questions about why I wanted a bird, what experience I had, and just what I was hoping to get as a perfect companion.

This person will also be very helpful after you get a canary.  If it appears sick or you have questions about it's behavior, you have that person to contact for an immediate answer.  The right person can be a very enjoyable friend in this new venture into Canary Keeping.

And who knows, you may find a kindred spirit in the process!  I have found several wonderful, interesting people, of all levels of experience raising canaries, whom I count among my best friends.

# 2 -- The second TIP:  buy a bird in person, if at all possible.
You may not find a canary breeder locally, but don't overlook the small hobbyist who may only have a few for sale.  They may have birds more used to daily and individual attention.

If you can see more than one canary, acting normally in an average size cage, you will be more likely to see the differences in personality and activity... and of course, you can hear differences in song.  Many breeders do not allow visitors into their main bird room, but will usually have their birds for sale in an area open to potential buyers.

This was a learning experience for me!  And invaluable!  I learned more in those two hours spent in Bruce's birdhouse, than the days spent reading all those books.  Just observing how they were fed, how their perches were set up, what area of the house they were in, etc.  was wonderful.  Of course, listening to the breeder talking about his birds and their differences was enjoyable --- and his enthusiasm was infectious!

So, PLEASE, search for other canary people within visiting distance, even if you buy your final bird elsewhere!

# 3 -- Third TIP:  Read, read, and read again!
You can find advice online for nearly every topic.  There are many canary associations and clubs with articles on their websites.  There are forums and groups exclusively for canaries.  Browse them all.

And don't forget books.  Some canary books that read like textbooks, but I have found others that are great entertainment besides giving helpful information!
( My Favorite Canary Books by Debbie )

# 4 -- Remember this next TIP:  There is NO ONE PERFECT WAY to care for a canary.
If you asked the same question to 50 canary people, you would get many different answers, and each person is convinced that way is the only way.  Remember, when someone says a certain way is the only way, what he really means is, it is the only way for him.

Everyone's home, climate, daily schedule, and even time spent with the bird will be different.  And what YOU want from a canary companion may be entirely different than everyone else!

# 5 -- TIP number five:  Have fun!  
The basics of having a canary in your home are pretty simple.  And the rewards are so very many!
*** Some of my favorite links: Seeds of Canary Information
*** My Personal Advice: Canary Care Sheet (pdf)