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Song Canaries

Out of all the finches, the Canary claims the top spot for best song. Other species have all been bred for color and other features, and whilst this is also true for Canaries, it is it’s song which has elevated them to the top perches in the world.


A flock of Canaries
The Canary is loved for its singing voice

Different Types of Canary Song

Those responsible for setting rules and targets at bird shows have categorised Canary song into three basic “movements”. Different varieties will excel in certain categories, and a bird that can combine all three will scoop up trophies left and right. The three types are referred to as Rollers, Warblers and Choppers.

  • Rollers are the most popular singers. This is due to their low volume. Rollers sing with closed or very-slightly open beaks. This mutes the sound and makes their songs sound low, soft and melodic.
  • Warblers have a wide repertoire, and a bit more volume than the rollers.
  • Choppers are the loudest of the bunch, opening their beaks wide for maximum volume (although it is still rather quiet when compared to the parrot family standards). Most canary “types” which have been bred for looks, rather than song, are Choppers. Border, Norwich, Yorkshire and Fife Canaries are all in this category.

Canary Bird Singing

No matter how much we may want to believe it, canaries do not sing for pleasure. As nice as it may be to our ears, the birds have evolved their song skills for the purposes of courtship and proclaiming territory. Domestic birds may sing all year round, even if there is no hen listening, but deep down they are doing what songbirds have always done - singing for a mate and telling rivals to get lost,

Canaries only begin their singing-careers after eight months, so if your bird is younger than that then there is a certain amount of potluck involved. By speaking to a breeder and listening to other birds’ songs in full you will, however, get quite a good idea on how your little avian friend will shape up as a songster.


Yellow Canary
Songs for Pleasure? Not exactly...

Although it may sound odd, one of the greatest assets of a Canary's song - in addition to its melodious and liquid beauty - is its volume. Unlike certain members of the parrot family, Canaries sing quietly, and your neighbours will have to put their ears right up to the wall if they want to hear it.

When do Canaries Sing?

Whilst pet “song” canaries are in full voice for much of the year, they usually peak around late summer through until the end of autumn. During this time their singing will be most prominent. Unlike their wild cousins, these little birds don't need a hen to impress or a territory to shout about. They sing in the same way a chicken lays eggs - they’ve been selectively bred to do it.

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