A canary can be a great pet choice for a beginning keeper who loves birds. The canaries are sufficiently petite; they don’t take up much space.
However, canaries are typically long-lived – some live as long as 20 years! There are actually three different types of canaries: type (appearance and plumage), color, and song.
In this article, learn about the canary bird price and other initial and ongoing care expenses.
Canary Purchase Price
- The Finch Farm in Washington has a variety of canary types ranging in price from $95.99 to $384.99.
- Birds Express in California offers canaries of different types for sale ranging in price from $80 to $350.
- LL Cages, also in Washington, offers a variety of canary types for sale ranging in price from $85 to $100.
Factors Affecting Canary Purchase Price
In the event you can’t purchase your new canary locally, the next best option is to shop online. Shipping live birds can be costly.
Birds Express offers airline shipping starting at $155 plus a $20 box fee with a minimum $250 order. LL Cages offers shipping for a flat $100 rate.
In terms of gender, only the male canaries sing, which typically means that male canaries will be more expensive than females. Breeders say fall is the best time to tell gender since all chicks will sing as babies but only males will sing during the fall.
When most people think of the canary, they picture a small bright yellow bird. But canaries can be red, orange, yellow and black, yellow and green, and other colors. Color can affect purchase price as some colors are less common.
Different canaries have different types of songs. They can also be taught to sing certain tunes. The ones bred from show champion song canary breed-lines will be more expensive.
While the majority of canary birds have smooth plumage, varieties exist. Some have feathered feet or crested heads.
Others have body plumage that makes them look just like small feather dusters. Some are quite rare and can be priced accordingly.
Breedline/show awards also affect the pricing as Canary shows are very popular. If you aspire to participate or plan to become a breeder and want to acquire a canary from a particular champion breed line, costs would be so much higher for a single bird.
Male canaries become better singers with age. When they reach the ages six months and older, these male birds may be priced higher because their songs are more distinguishable.
It is also important not to bring a male new canary home too early in life because it won’t have a chance to learn its songs from its parents (in a pinch, you can also use recorded canary songs to train your young male bird).
One-Time Canary Costs
Canaries are generally happier when kept alone. The exception is if you want to breed your canaries and then it is fine to keep a male and female pair together.
You will need a cage big enough to accommodate one or two canaries. These birds need plenty of space to move around and fly for exercise. Bars should be spaced close together to prevent accidents or escape.
A cage that is at least 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 18 inches high is ideal for one or a pair of canaries. Bar spacing should be ½-inch or smaller for your bird’s safety.
The Prevue Hendryx Triple Roof Bird Cage with a price range of $60 to $70 is sized well at 26 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 22.5 inches high with ½-inch bar spacing and plenty of flight space.
The Vision Model II Bird Cage is another good choice for $130. It measures 29.5 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 21.5 inches high with bar spacing a little narrower than ½-inch. It also comes with a seed guard around the bottom to contain mess.
While most canary cages will come with some basic accessories (perches, food cups) you may want to change them out to give your canaries maximum flight room. This pair of natural wood perches starting at $6 can be placed out of the way to keep flight space open.
- Food and water dishes
The JW InSight Clean Cup in Small (less than $5 per cup) is a good choice for both food and water dishes. The hood keeps mess to a minimum.
- Bathing bowl
The Quick Lock Bird Bath ($7) is a good choice for a single or pair of canaries to bathe in.
Ongoing Canary Costs
Canaries in the wild will eat seeds, fruits, greens, insects, and worms. In captivity, offering a nutritionally balanced pelleted food for very small birds can provide daily nutrition. You can supplement with diced fruits, greens, vegetables, some cooked egg, and seed treats.
You have plenty of options in choosing your canary food. The Higgins protein egg food ($4) can be particularly good if you plan to breed your canaries or are weaning nestlings. It has produce, seeds, egg protein and vitamins and minerals already mixed in.
ZuPreem’s extra small pelleted food blend ($36 per 10-lb bag) is also very good for canaries.
- Calcium and vitamins
Canaries need a source of calcium – a cuttlebone is a way to offer this. A pack of two small-size cuttlebones suitable for canaries ranges from $3 to $5.
If you are keeping red factor canaries, you may want to feed a food fortified with something like Quiko Intensive Red ($14) to help your canary keep its richly colored plumage.
Canaries can require preventative veterinary care, including nail trims or beak filing if your bird’s toenails or beak get too long. This is also a good time to have your exotic avian veterinarian check your bird’s overall health.
Expect to spend $50+ for a regular health exam. For emergencies, costs can range from $100 and up plus treatment.