Are Canaries Loud? (Not Especially, But It Depends on This)


Are Canaries Loud

Canaries are small, docile birds that are long-lived and great pets. These birds are most commonly bright yellow, but oranges and reds also exist in the breed. Although the males produce a pleasing song, many potential owners question a canary for fear that these birds will be too loud for their home.

Canaries are quiet birds that hardly make noise, given they are quite timid. Males, however, will produce a song but the song often blends into background noise. Males do this to attract their female counterparts. Certain breeds, like the Harz Roller, have a pleasing song, sung at a soft volume. In comparison to other birds, canaries are quieter than parrots or parakeets. 

If you are concerned with the volume of your canary, you may want to consider breeds that have a softer volume. The Waterslager and Harz Roller canaries produce beautiful songs that are soft and peaceful. Although the Persian and Spanish Timbrado canaries produce beautiful songs, these are known to be loud birds with strong voices. Male birds will sing throughout the day but cease singing when molting or in the winter seasons. A canary that has stopped singing completely may be sick or receiving poor nutrition, so a veterinary appointment is necessary.

Do All Canaries Sing?

All breeds of canaries, both wild and domestic, will sing. However, only male canaries will sing a true canary song in most species. Female canaries can learn a song, and some will sing short snippets, however, compared to the males, females usually have a broken or weak song. There are many breeds within the canary species, some with more prized songs than others. Most people accept that the Harz Rollers are the best singers, combining tone, melody, and volume within the hobby.

When Do Canaries Sing?

Male canaries will sing for most of their lives and usually develop a song around four months of age. The bird will sing throughout the spring, summer, and autumn, but many owners report their male canaries singing less or not at all during the winter. To encourage more song throughout the winter months, try to increase the amount of natural light the bird receives each day.

Canaries will also cease signing while they are molting. The molting process will take between six and eight weeks. It is important to boost your canary’s nutritional intake with high-quality food during this time. Once the molting has completed, your canary will return to its normal song.

Do Canaries Sing at Night?

Canaries can create beautiful songs that fill the home. While most people enjoy hearing the song during the day, they probably don’t want to be awakened at night. Canaries will sing the same song, at the same volume, and at the same pace regardless of the time. That means that during the night, it is completely possible to hear the same beautiful song you hear during the day.

Of course, there are ways to keep your bird quiet during the night. Many owners choose to cover their bird’s cage with a dark cloth. The dark cloth will help your bird fall asleep and not sing throughout the night.

Are Certain Canary Breeds Louder than Others?

A canary is a popular bird because it has a beautiful song and a bright yellow coloration. Within the canary species, though, there are several breeds. Some of these breeds are highly prized because of their beautiful, bold, and loud songs. Some of the most popular canary breeds include:

  • The Harz Roller – Sometimes, this bird is called the Harz Mountain or German Roller. One of the oldest breeds of canaries, this bird has been popular for over 300 years. Some argue that the Harz canaries are the best singers. The birds sing quietly but have a melodious song. Harz canaries are available in several different color combinations.
  • The Spanish Timbrado – One of the newer canaries in the hobby is the Spanish Timbrado. This bird can produce the loudest song of any canary. The song is described as a bell-like warble, and they can hit 12 very different notes. This breed is also the rare case where female Spanish Timbrados can sing, just not as boldly as the male canaries.
  • The Waterslager – Originating from the Harz birds, the Waterslager was developed in Belgium. This bird has the most vocal range of any canary, producing both higher and lower tones. In competition, if the bird cannot reach the high and low range, they are not considered a true Waterslager bird. The Waterslager is most commonly yellow, although other colors exist and are rare.
  • The Russian Singer – Also originating from the Harz bird, the Russian Singer is about 300 years old. This bird can sing but also mimic other sounds. Breeders would use the song of wild canaries to train the Russian Singer to perform beautiful and unique songs. Sometimes this bird is nicknamed the “Bunting Tuner” because of these skills. Unfortunately, the learned songs cannot be passed to future generations, however mimicry skills can.
  • The American Singer – One of the newer canary breeds, the American Singer was developed around the 1930s or 1940s. This bird mixes the German Roller with Border Canaries. This breed of canary is the most common type in the United States. Not only does the bird have a beautiful song, but they are generally very healthy and easy to keep.

How Do I Choose A Melodious Canary?

Choosing a canary is a wonderful experience that any true bird-lover will enjoy. First and foremost, you must choose a healthy, robust bird with clean feathers and bright eyes. A healthy bird is not only good for longevity but is more likely to sing for a long period.

Secondly, understand that most male canaries will only start singing when they reach four months of age and will only develop their complete and true song when they reach about six months of age. Many breeders will help you choose which canary is right for you. There is a process of secluding one male after the other, encouraging it to sing. Some breeders may use a simple cardboard divider, while others have birds in different rooms. Without competition from fellow males to see, the bird will sing a true and beautiful song. Sometimes choosing the right bird with a pleasing song may take some time and patience, but it is worth the effort.

Why Is My Canary Not Singing?

Many people choose a canary as a pet because of its beautiful songs. Unfortunately, certain situations can make your canary stop singing, which could be cause for concern. There are several reasons why your canary is not singing, which include:

  • Stimulation – To reach their peak song, canaries need plenty of stimulation. Putting your canary in a room with plenty of activity around your bird’s cage can help stimulate your bird and promote a song.
  • Health – If your canary isn’t singing, it could indicate a bigger health concern. Only healthy birds will sing, so a silent bird may be a sick bird. Be sure to keep up with regular health visits to keep your canary singing. A poor diet can also contribute to a bird that no longer sings.
  • Molting – During the molting season, which is usually around the summer, birds will not sing. If you notice bald patches or missing feathers, there is a good chance your bird has started to molt. Usually, the molting season lasts between six and eight weeks.
  • Age – Your canary’s age may impact how much it sings. Young canaries will not sing until they reach about four months of age. Older canaries over the age of seven usually stop singing as much until they stop singing completely.
  • Competition – In some households with multiple male canaries, a more dominant male can stifle the song of a submissive male. One male canary will outcompete the other, making the weaker canary stop singing completely.
  • Sex – Female canaries do not naturally sing, and most will only chirp and tweet. However, some owners have successfully trained their female canaries to sing short songs. Only male canaries will naturally sing.

Related Questions

Do canaries make good apartment pets?

Although canaries have a reputation for their beautiful and sometimes loud, melodic songs, the truth is this bird is very quiet. The canary is shy and timid and is ranked among some of the quietest birds available for pets. Aside from the normal song male canaries will produce, you may only notice the smallest chirp or twitter periodically.

How long do canaries live as pets?

If you are considering adopting a canary as your pet, consider the relatively long lifespan of this tiny bird. Most canaries will live to be ten years or older. Be prepared for a long-lived bird that will require a lifetime of care, food, veterinary visits, and affection. It is not uncommon for older male canaries to stop singing after they have reached the age of six or seven.

Related Guides

Pet Advisers Team

Our team is composed of pet care professionals, veterinarians, and pet owners. To date, we've conducted thousands of hours of research to publish the most accurate pet information. Most of the writers on our site are vets with 10+ years of clinical experience, ranging from small practice, to equine practice, academia, and surgery. Our goal is to help every pet owner get the information they seek about their dear companions.

Recent Posts