Are Canaries Good Pets? is reader supported. If you make a purchase through any link on this site we may earn a commission.
Published: July 29, 2021      Written by Aerika Pedersen      Fact Checked:

Last modified: July 12th, 2022
If you find this useful please share for others, thank you!

It’s a common question, are canaries good pets, but like most things, the answer isn’t always easy or simple.

Canaries As Pets Pros And Cons

There are some pros and cons to canaries as pets. One of the pros is that they are small and usually cheap, which can make them a good introductory pet for someone who wants to figure out if they enjoy having animals in their home. They will sing lovely songs and are also beautiful, intelligent, and playful.

Are canaries good pets?

Canary birds have been a popular pet bird species for centuries now because they provide entertainment and companionship in the home. By companionship, we don’t mean to imply Canaries are cuddly or enjoy lots of touch-based attention. Canaries aren’t that kind of pet bird and will mostly be enjoyed while in their cage.

Speaking of cages, despite their small size Canaries really shouldn’t be kept in a tiny “travel cage”. They need room to be active and remain healthy, we discuss appropriate cages for Canaries in our Canary Care Guide.

They’re fairly low maintenance and have a lifespan of up to 15 years, though most live about 8 to 10 years. They also don’t require (or desire) a lot of hands-on attention, which is perfect for those who are busy with other things in life.

But there are some cons to canaries as well. For starters, they have a really high-pitched screech, which might be hard for some people to handle and even irritating after a while, especially if you live in an apartment building.

How To Care For Canary Birds

Do Canaries Like To Be Held?

One thing that may be a bit of a surprise is that some canaries love to be held! They have an affinity for being in the proximity of humans. They like to be close by when people are nearby, just sitting in a cage that can be right next to them.

That said, overall most canaries are naturally skittish and won’t be comfortable with being handled no matter how long you have them. They’ll still enjoy your company and entertain you, but they’ll prefer the safety of their cage bars between you.

Do Canaries Recognize Their Owners?

Do canaries know who feeds them? Canaries are quite intelligent birds and they can distinguish humans from each other based on voice, smell, and familiarity with the person in question. Once they know that you are the one who feeds them, they become more attached to you and trust you more.

What food do canaries eat?

Canaries are omnivores and will eat almost anything. They require two different types of foods in their diet: seeds and berries or soft-body insects. In the wild, they’ll feed on small insects, animal waste, grains and scraps, and even the occasional wasp nest! Sunflower seeds are a favorite food of many canaries. A good resource on feeding your Canary a healthy diet can be found here.

How smart are canaries?

Some might think that canaries are not very smart because they are small, but this is not true. In fact, many people believe that canaries are one of the smartest birds in the world. They learn things quickly, they love to listen to music and sing. If you spend enough time with a canary, you will find that it can be very entertaining.

Do canaries like music?

Some canaries do enjoy listening to music, while others do not and will “compete” with it by screeching and squawking. It’s hard to know what animals are thinking and every bird has its own personality, but some canaries sure do seem to enjoy listening to music and will sing along in their own special way and even bob and dance on their perches.

Can you tame canaries?

Why not? They’re smart birds.

There are many instances in which canaries have been trained to perform certain tricks.

With patience and plenty of treats, you can teach a canary to sing and do minimal tricks. But, it can be difficult to tell when they get bored or when they know what you want from them.

Do canaries need friends or can they be kept alone?

Red Factor Canary
Red Factor Canary

Canaries are colorful, popular pets with many benefits. They are active, which can keep their owners more active too, and they can also be quite entertaining to watch. But do Canaries need to be kept in pairs or groups to be happy?

If you want to keep your Canary happy you may need to buy a second Canary. Canaries are not necessarily social birds like some other species, but they do still enjoy companionship and attention. Having a “mate” can provide this if you’re not able to give them enough of your time on a daily basis.

That said, however, keep in mind that you should never put two male Canaries in the same cage, and sometimes not in the same room even if in separate cages. They are very territorial and the proximity can cause them high stress.

Canaries, much like finches, also do not do well mixing in cages with other popular breeds like parrots. In fact, a parrot, with its hooked beak, can cause real harm and even death to a canary that is aggressive towards it.

Our suggestion if you intend to have two Canaries would be a male and a female, close together in separate cages.

Do canaries get lonely?

The canary is a moderately solitary bird–it won’t usually get lonely if kept alone in a cage. They can also share an environment with other small birds just fine. The only hard rule is to never put two male canaries together in a single cage; they will likely fight–sometimes until one or both are severely injured, or worse, one dies.

Can canaries talk?

No, canaries are not talking birds. Male Canaries are, however, natural and beautiful singers. Their vocal flexibility lends to charming and entertaining “singing”, but they do lack the ability to mimic human speech.

If you have two Canaries, one male, and one female, this will encourage the male to be more vocal, especially during the late winter and early spring, their natural breeding season.

Why do canaries sing so much?

Canaries are a type of bird that can be bred and kept as pets. They are known for singing loudly and continuously to create an entertaining atmosphere. There are many myths about why they sing so much. You know, a lot of people think they sing to show off. They don’t. “

Male Canaries sing to attract a mate. It is a way of showing fitness for mating to the female Canary.

They will also sing to “establish” their territory, for this reason, if you have a lot of noisy birds outside your home it can be expected that your pet canary will sing a lot to make sure those other birds know this is their place.

Do canaries poop a lot?

Like all birds, Canaries poop a lot. This means it’s important to be diligent in keeping their cage clean. Not doing so can invite health hazards for your bird and yourself into the home, and it can make your home smell bad too.

In Conclusion, Are Canaries Good Pets?

In short, yes. Canaries are known for their beauty and singing and have been kept as pets since the 17th century. They are not really hands-on companion birds and are best enjoyed from a distance, but this does not make them bad pets. They spend a lot of time in their cages, so you will need to provide a properly sized cage and habitat to give them the maximum living space to spread their wings in.


Aerika Pedersen – Full-time writer, bird owner, and mother.

Aerika spent three years caring for birds at the Antwerp ZOO in Belgium before deciding to start her own family and write from home to share her experience and knowledge with other bird lovers.

Related Guides:

If you find this useful please share for others, thank you!