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.