The 5 Most Common Reasons Why Your Canary Won’t Sing

The 5 Most Common Reasons Why Your Canary Won’t Sing
“A canary that won’t sing is worthless.”

Now, I don’t believe that for a second. Canaries are a joy to have around even if they don’t sing. But that is how one client of mine reacted when he couldn’t figure out why his canary wouldn’t sing.

It is true that by far the most common reason people get a pet canary is because of the beautiful music they produce. It can be exciting and yet soothing at the same time.

But what if you get your canary home from the pet store or the breeder and he won’t sing? You have to ask yourself, “Why”?

Well, there are many, many reasons why your canary may not be singing. I won’t be able to go into all of them in this short article but let’s go over the 5 most obvious.

1. He’s a she.

Hens don’t sing. At least about 95% of hens don’t sing. Occasionally, a singing hen will show up but it is rare. And even singing hens NEVER match the vocal abilities of their male counter-part.

Here’s the problem...

It’s very difficult to tell a male from a female. It’s not uncommon for breeders and pet shop clerks to make mistakes regarding the sex of a canary. One thing you can do when buying a canary is ask for a guarantee that the bird will be a singer. Many breeders will be happy to do that for you.

2. He’s too young.

Male canaries don’t start singing until they reach maturity. Canaries reach maturity at around 9 months of age. Most canaries hatch out in late winter or spring so if you buy a canary in the summer you may have to wait a few months to find out if you’ve got a singer.

3. He’s molting.

Molting takes place from mid-summer until around early autumn and it’s such a stressful time that your canary will almost certainly stop singing. Growing in all those new feathers takes a lot of energy. After the molt your canary will want to settle into a long period of rest prior to breeding season.

4. He’s suffering an off-season molt.

Like I said above, canaries molt in the late summer. However, the molt is triggered by the shortening of the days after the summer equinox. So, if you’re confusing your bird with artificial lighting, he may not know whether to molt or breed or rest. Those late nights watching Leno or Letterman may be disturbing your canary’s natural rhythms.

Try to give your bird a natural amount of daylight hours by covering his cage with a cloth at sundown and uncovering the cage at sunrise. This will help keep his system in check and on schedule.

5. He’s sick

This is probably the most common reason why an otherwise well-cared-for canary won't sing. If your canary is not feeling well he may stop singing.

Keep in mind that it’s very difficult to tell if you’re canary is ill. In fact, you likely won’t notice any symptoms until the illness is so far along that your loving canary is on his death bed.

That is, unless you know what to look for.

Some of the most common symptoms are...

• Listlessness

• Huddling on the bottom of the cage

• Not eating

• Over-eating

• Sneezing and coughing

• Plus many, many others.

There are far too many symptoms to list or explain here. But once you’ve learned what the hard-to-spot symptoms are you will be in a much better position to take care of your canary bird the way he deserves.

And when you’re taking good care of your canary with a healthy lighting schedule and the ability to spot and treat any canary ailment that might pop up, you will be well on your way to making your canary S-I-N-G!

Darren P.D. Walker is the author of “The Canary Lovers Guide To LISTENING To Your Pet Canary Bird--27 Ways of KNOWING When Your Canary is Sick.” To discover the easy3 step canary health exam AND get your FREE boot-camp course on canary care visit

The above link will take you off this site where you will find more great information on Canaries - this will be well worth your time. Mavis

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