|Latin Name||Serinus canaria|
|Average Lifespan||12 Years|
|Average Length||6.5 Inches|
|Average Weight||12 - 20 Grams|
|Song Type||Warbler, water-like, deep|
Noise Level & Vocalization
They produce a soft to medium-loud song that is soft and bubbly akin to the sound of rolling water with some notes sounding like water dripping into a barrel. Of all song canaries, they produce the lowest and highest range of notes and without any harsh chopping sounds. They sing with their beak closed, except for opening their beaks for some pronounced sounds.
The Waterslager Canary is bred for its song rather than its physical appearance or color, but it is a fair-sized bird reaching lengths of about 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm). It has some distinctive traits to its head such as a larger more cone-shaped beak and a sharper bite than other canaries, shiny bright black eyes, and when excited the feathers on the back of the head rise up giving it a bit of a crest. This canary has soft feathers and their colors are yellow and white, though in varying shades from pale to quite strong. Dark ticking is common and is usually accepted for show as long as it does not cover over a quarter of its plumage.
You must give your canary a balanced diet if he is to live a long and happy life! Fresh canary seed mix should always be available. Check his seed twice daily, and don’t be fooled by the empty husks he will leave in the dish! Blow them off into the garbage, stir and top up as needed. Clean his dishes and refill them daily. Protein is a very important part of your canary’s diet (about 12%). Since canaries are mainly seed eaters and not insect eaters, their protein is found in canary grass and rape seed (both found in his canary mix); however, his diet should be supplemented with egg food. A healthy mix of fruits and vegetables, shredded into pick-up-and-fly pieces should be offered daily and removed within an hour or two. Every bird has different tastes. While some canaries may love shredded carrots, others may prefer romaine lettuce. Keep trying, and give him variety. Obesity can be a problem in canaries, and for that reason “people foods,” such as mashed potatoes, peanut butter and the like should not be offered. feed all perishable foods in a separate dish, and remove it after one or two hours.
Vitamin/Mineral/Amino Acid Supplement
In the wild, a bird is free to fill all of their nutritional requirements. A good example of why vitamins must be added is the lack of vitamin A in their diet. This fat-soluble vitamin is virtually non-existent in seed, so you must offer other sources of it. Fresh greens are rich in vitamin A, your canary may not accept these foods, or eat enough of them. To make sure your canary is getting the vitamins his body requires, we recommend the addition of a high-quality powdered vitamin. This may be administered on top of his salad or sprinkled on his millet. A liquid vitamin may be used instead of the powdered if your canary snubs the vitaminized foods you are offering.
Packaged seed treats, egg biscuits and spray millet provide your canary with the variety he craves and the behavioral requirements he needs, such as foraging. Spray millet is an all natural treat food and is typically accepted with gusto! All canaries should be fed millet sprays as part of their weekly diet. A millet holder is handy to use and will keep the millet from becoming soiled at the bottom of the cage.
Cuttlebone is a convenient way to supply your canary with calcium, phosphorus and other minerals necessary to keep him in optimum health. Hang it in his cage, out of the way from droppings, which could soil it. Change it every two months.
Typically, the domestic canary is kept as a popular cage and aviary bird. Given proper housing and care, a canary's lifespan ranges from 10 to 15 years. Canaries are solitary birds, so a lone male will do quite well on his own, singing to his heart’s content. Two male canaries, when kept in separate cages within hearing distance (but out of sight) of one another, will sing back and forth, almost in competition. Canaries can also be prompted to sing by cassette tapes or CDs made specifically for that purpose.
Your canary typically will undergo one molt per year, immediately after breeding season, which is the middle of summer to the middle of fall. During this time, your canary may not sing or be as active as he usually is.
When purchasing a cage for your canary, keep the following in mind. Unlike hookbills that can climb around their cages, canaries get their exercise by flying from perch-to-perch; therefore, your canary will require a home that is wider than it is tall. Get the largest cage that you can! A roomy home with lots of area for flying, perching and sleeping is ideal. You may want to hang his cage or place it on a cage stand, but either way, make sure the room in which he is placed is draft free, away from heat or air-conditioning vents and is not in direct sunlight; near a window is best. The optimum room temperature for most canaries is 65°F – 70°F (18°C – 21°C). A cage cover will allow your canary to get the rest he needs. Remember, that birds wake at sunrise and sleep at sunset.
In their natural habitat, canaries will get 12 to 14 hours of bright light. Your canary will need the same in your home. Your canary will require exposure to ultraviolet light on a daily basis. Since it is not possible in our climate to have him outside on a daily basis, and placing him in front of a window only allows filtered light inside, which is ineffective; the use of a full-spectrum light is vital. UVA and UVB are necessary to prevent calcium and vitamin D3 deficiencies, which can cause a tremendous amount of health problems. As well, depriving your canary of UV light will make them colour blind. It has also been suggested that UVA light is beneficial in reducing or eliminating abnormal behaviour, such as feather damaging disorders, and phobias among just a few. An avian floor lamp and UVA/UVB bulb will be a necessary part of your canary’s basic environmental need.
Birds were not meant to stand on the same diameter of a tree branch or perch. Your canary must have a variety of perch sizes to allow his feet proper exercise. Your canary will need not only the perching that comes with your cage, but also branches, which will provide him with an uneven surface. These may be purchased or you may collect the following branches from outdoors provided they have not been sprayed: fruit trees, willow, poplar, elderberry and maple. If you do use natural branches, they will need to be replaced frequently. Situate two of the perches at the same height as the seed and water dishes, not directly over them, where fecal matter could spoil the food. The size of perching for your canary shouldn’t be too thin or too thick (3/8 to ¾ inch diameter is good). Their feet need to encircle the perch comfortably.
|Age of Maturity||8 - 12 Months|
|Breeding Aviculture||Fairly Common|
|Average Clutch Size||3 - 5 Eggs|
|Nest Box||Open Cup Nest|
|Breeding Life||5 - 10 Years|
Breeding season is generally from December to April, and canaries normally breed if provided with proper food, lighting and environment. The female should be at least a year old and the male should be no older than 5 years old. To introduce the male and female, house them in separate cages side by side for a few weeks before placing them in a cage together.
Canaries can breed in regular breeding cages and prefer open nests and cotton yarn for nesting material. Wickered nests can be used but disinfecting is much easier when using a plastic or metal nest. A nest insert can also be used if necessary. A normal clutch is 3-6 eggs and the female will lay one egg per day.
Method #1: For less experienced breeders it is acceptable to allow the pair to lay and incubate the eggs as they hatch. The only risk with this is that if the clutch is larger, the younger babies may not all survive or be as healthy as the older ones. This method is often used as it is easy and there is no interference from the breeder.
Method #2: The method that is often used by more experienced breeders is done to ensure the integrity of all the babies in the clutch. As each egg is laid, carefully remove it and replace it with a dummy egg. The eggs can be placed on cotton, shavings or other nesting material and turned once a day and returned to the nest once the female is done laying. This is done so that incubation begins at the same time for all of the eggs and results in all of the eggs hatching together rather than hatching a day apart (This method avoids the risk of the younger hatchlings being less healthy than the older ones).
Depending on the dynamic of the pair of birds, the male may need to be removed from the cage at this point to avoid interfering with the females incubation process. If the male is not a nuisance to the female and is assisting her, it is not necessary to separate them. Whether or not the male is removed is entirely dependent on the relationship between the male and female.
After about 12 days, place a shallow bowl of warm water in the cage for the female to bathe in. After bathing the female will return to the nest and moisten the nest and the eggs. This will soften the eggs and make hatching easier. The eggs will hatch on the 13th or 14th day. The female should be provided with breeding foods such as egg food to assist in the colouring of the babies. If the male was removed from the cage, return him after 2 weeks to help feed the hatchlings.
Babies are born blind and featherless. They will begin to grow feathers and open their eyes in two and a half to three weeks. At this time they will also begin to fledge and will be independent at about 6 weeks.