Border Canary Bird

Border Canary Bird

Scientific Name: Serinus canaria domesticus
Origin: Northern England and Scotland
Average Lifespan:  6 to 8 years; Maximum of 20 years
Size: 4 1/2 inches
Color:  Mostly yellow but also appears in variety of colors like white, blue, green, plum, cinnamon, variegated and ticked
Sounds: sings a variety of robust songs
Interaction: Social

Border Canary Bird

Photo: Majd Mohabek | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Border Canary Bird

The Border Canary Bird or also called Border Fancy Canary is one of the most popular birds today.  It is commonly bred for its attractive colorful physical appearance rather than for its songs.  It is nicknamed “Wee Gem” because this bird is tiny, compact and hardy.  It displays a well-rounded head and alert lively eyes.  It has a round body with very glossy plumage.

Most of them are yellow but they also have a variety of colors such as green, blue, plum, white, and cinnamon.  Some of them are also variegated or multicolored and ticked, which make them more delightful to look at.  Solid yellow or white colored border canaries are often referred to as “clears” while solid green, blues, or cinnamons are called “selfs.”  Pied canaries are usually referred to as “variegated” or multi-colored canaries.

Personality and Temperament

The Border Canary Bird is a very lively, engaging bird with a pleasant character.  It also sings a variety of songs, which makes it fit with the description “tweety bird”. These creatures are good natured and do well when kept in bird cages or in aviaries.  However, they should not be kept along with other birds with more aggressive behavior like the lovebirds, parakeets, and other hookbills since border canary birds are timid.   These birds should be kept in cages or in aviaries by themselves if the keeper wants to ensure and maintain their high quality singing skills.  They are relatively low maintenance birds that enjoy enhanced environment.  However, males can be very territorial and keeping two male canaries in one cage can cause fights.

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Health and Care

Canaries prefer wide open spaces so owners must provide them with roomy cages. Their cages or aviaries should have vertical bars and small perches of different sizes for foot exercise.  Have at least one perch set high in a cage for the bird to roost or sleep.  It is also advised that the cages be placed high so that the canaries can look down on us while they sing songs.  Installing swings inside cages or canaries is also a wonderful idea to keep the canaries entertained.  For their diet, they mainly eat canary seed or grape seed.  Nowadays, it would not be difficult to find vitamin coated canary seed mixes that are commonly available in pet shops.   They do like to bath so bird baths should be available in cages or in aviaries.  Furthermore, the cages and aviaries must be cleaned regularly to ensure health of these wonderful birds.

Border Canary Birds breed easily and readily if they are provided with quality and healthy food, conditioning, lighting and secure surroundings.  Avoid keeping them in an environment that is wet, cold, windy and drafty.  Be particularly careful in colder climates as canaries do not like to be chilled.  At the time that the hen canaries have chicks, the owners have to provide special food items. This is to ensure that the young will grow healthy and with beautiful plumage.

History and Background

Information is scarce as to the history and background of the border canary bird other than it is said to have evolved in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s along the borders of northern England and Scotland.  The name and standards for the Border Canary were adapted in 1889 at Langholm, a town close to the border of Scotland and England.  It was officially named with the establishment of the Border Fancy Canary Club on June 5, 1890.  At first, only the rich kept them as pets.  Eventually, even the locals started to breed them as they became more popular.

This specie breed well in breeding cages. They lay their eggs in a nest.  Normally female canaries lay 3 to 6 eggs, one per day.  Their breeding season is usually from December to April.

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