Why Are Canaries So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)


why are canaries so expensive

Canaries are popular birds for people to own as pets because of their beautiful coloration and soothing song. These birds are small, long-lived, and relatively easy to care for. However, their continued popularity has also contributed to their extremely high purchase price.

Canaries are around $300 if purchased in the United States. These birds are expensive because of their longevity and sought-after song and coloration. Birds from a song champion bloodline are usually far more costly, with males often more expensive than females.

Of course, people interested in owning a pet canary must also think about the cost to house and maintain this bird. Aside from the initial cost, owners must purchase a cage, accessories and handle the ongoing cost of food and possible veterinary bills.

Other bird alternatives that come at a slightly lower price include the cockatiel, parakeet, and finch. These birds will be just as long-lived, interactive, and are much cheaper to purchase. You may be able to buy a canary from a local rescue at a reduced or discounted rate.

How Much Does A Canary Cost?

Canaries are beautiful birds that make lovely, long-lived pets. The price of a canary will vary, with several factors taken into consideration, one being location.

The average cost of a pet canary is about $300. In areas like Washington and California, expect to pay upwards of $400 for a canary. These areas, when purchased from a breeder, are some of the highest-priced canaries available.

Does Longevity Impact Price?

One of the biggest reasons why canaries are so expensive has to do with their incredibly long lifespan. Compared to other birds, like finches, that may not live as long, canaries will usually live to be 10 or 15 years of age.

Some canaries have even lived to the ripe age of 20 or longer. The long lifespan means that people who purchase canaries will not do so often, so the price increases. Birds that have a shorter life span tend to be more affordable.

Are Males More Expensive Than Females?

When choosing a male or female canary for your pet, you have a big decision to make. Only the male canaries carry a beautiful song and can sing, which means the price is usually higher for males than for females. The best time to select your bird for its song is when it is a young chick. Males and females will both sing as chicks, but only male chicks will sing in the fall months.

Further, many of the songs are inherited from the parent bird to the offspring, so finding a bird with a beautiful song may be a matter of bloodline. Expect to pay higher prices if the bird is from an esteemed line known to have amazing vocals. Champion song canaries with a winning record can demand a hefty price tag.

Does Color Impact Price?

Most people think of a bright yellow bird when they think of a canary, but the truth is this bird comes in a range of colors. Canaries can be found in yellow and black, yellow, and green, red, or orange. Specific colors are less common than others, and rare colors can fetch top dollar from a breeder.

Further, the type of plumage the canary has can also impact price. Some canaries have a crested head, while others may have feathered feet. Other birds may have flat feathers, while some birds may have soft and downy features that make the birds look like miniature feather dusters. Rare feather plumage can cause the price of the canary to skyrocket.

What Other Cost Considerations Should I Make?

Purchasing a new pet is a big investment and one with a significant financial obligation. Aside from the initial cost of this expensive bird, be sure to think about other cost considerations for housing and caring for your bird. Initial start-up costs to own a canary for a pet include:

  • Cage – It is best to house a pet canary alone unless you intend to breed your birds. You’ll be able to invest in a smaller cage, just built for one, but this can still be a significant expense. Find a cage at least 24 x 18 x18 inches. A cage will run about $70.
  • Food and Water Bowl – Your canary will need a place to get valuable nutrition. Investing in a good food and water bowl should cost about $10.
  • Perches – Every bird likes a comfortable place to sit and rest. Perches are practical but also add enrichment to your pet’s cage. You’ll want to add multiple perches but still give your canary plenty of room to fly. Expect to pay about $3 per perch.
  • Bath – Canaries need a quick bath to keep their feathers looking good. A birdbath for your canary cage will cost about $7.

Further, you’ll want to think about ongoing expenses for your bird. A bird that lives for upwards of 15 years is a significant time and financial investment. Your bird will need ongoing food, toys, and perches to stay happy.

Further, Canaries are subject to certain diseases and illnesses, so be sure to budget for the rare but necessary visit to a specialty veterinarian in the event of sickness.

What Other Pet Birds Might be Cheaper?

If you are interested in owning a pet bird but don’t want to make such a large initial investment on the animal itself, you may want to consider other choices that come at a lower price point. Some of the best pet birds that are loving and long-lived but also affordable include:

  • Parakeet – A parakeet is a popular option for many households. These birds are intelligent, loving, and long-lived, with many living ten years or longer. Parakeets come in a range of bright and bold colors, including blue, yellow, and green. Plus, these are incredibly social birds and are happy to live with several companions in the same cage. These little birds will usually cost around $35.
  • Finch – There are several species of finch that make suitable pets. One of the most popular is the zebra finch. This little bird will live to be about ten years old. Depending on the color and patterns of the zebra finch, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 for extremely beautiful or rare coloration.
  • Dove – If you are looking for a hands-off pet bird, the dove may be an excellent option. This pet is best viewed from afar and doesn’t like human interaction. Still, the dove is a beautiful and fascinating pet to own and will often live to be 15 years or older. Most doves will cost around $50, but some can cost upwards of $100 for rare coloration.
  • Cockatiel – The cockatiel is a fun, intelligent, and beautiful bird. Expect this pet bird to live upwards of 25 years in captivity. The cockatiel can learn a range of songs and phrases and makes a lively pet. Although on the higher end of price points, most cockatiels will still be under $250 from a breeder or local pet store.

Related Questions

Can I find a canary at an animal rescue?

If you love canaries but don’t want to pay the significant price for a pet bird, you may want to consider looking at your local animal rescue for a bird. Many people will purchase a canary without realizing the significant time and financial commitment to owning a bird for several years.

Performing a quick search of local bird-specific rescues in your immediate area may help connect you with local breeders or rescues, who often take in unwanted pet canaries in need of a new home. You may end up with a special bird from a breeder at a very reduced price.

What are the benefits of buying a bird from a breeder vs. a pet store?

Although it may be significantly more expensive, there are some benefits to buying your canary from a breeder rather than going to the local pet store. Going to a breeder allows you to choose your individual bird and potentially meet the parent birds. Meeting the parent birds will give you a good indication of the coloring and song your bird will have as an adult.

Further, you can rest assured that your bird has received the best care as a chick. Your bird will most likely be hand-raised, making it a friendlier and healthier bird. You’ll also have the opportunity to sample and listen to each male canary song individually so that you can choose the exact look and song of your bird.

Many breeders will also offer care and support for the bird’s life, giving you an invaluable resource. When you purchase a bird from the local pet store, you are unsure about the bird’s lineage and possible health conditions. Plus, many pet store birds are not hand raised, making them less tame, and overall, not as healthy as birds purchased from a reputable breeder.

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.

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