Before delving into the signs that indicate your canary is ready to mate and breed, you should first understand how canaries achieve optimal breeding conditions.
In temperate climates such as Europe and the Middle East, daylight hours begin to gradually increase with the onset of winter (23-12). This gradual increase triggers the breeding season for canaries, and when day and night nearly equalize with the beginning of spring (21-03), canaries reach sexual peak laying the first clutch.
Daylight is not the only factor that triggers the breeding season. Temperature and food supply play a role in making conditions desirable for breeding, and they also gradually increase as we reach spring and move away from winter.
These three factors (daylight, temperature, and food abundance) intersect in spring forming a suitable atmosphere for canaries to breed: 12 hours of daylight, 15 ° C average temperature depending on the geographical area, and unlimited food supply.
If you are a new canary breeder, it is better for you to allow the birds to simulate natural conditions by sleeping at sunset and waking up at sunrise. you should also avoid using artificial heat unless necessary, as the temperature gradually increases with the lengthening of daylight. However, if the breeding room is not equipped to handle winter, artificial heat should be used to maintain a room temperature between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, the bird may fall sick, particularly if the room is damp, drafty, and the diet is poor.
As the weather warms up and daylight increases naturally, you should start improving the quality and variety of food two months before the breeding season. Since caged birds do not have control over their food, it is crucial to provide suitable foods that help the birds reach optimal breeding conditions.
So, the combination of daylight, temperature, and nutrition helps to encourage canaries to breed, leading to the display of clear and recognizable signs for readiness to breed as the mating season approaches. But what are these signs that indicate male and female canaries are ready to mate, lay eggs, and raise chicks?
Signs your male canary is ready to mate
One of the clear signs that your male canary is ready to mate is singing but not any kind of singing. As the breeding season approaches in the spring, the intensity, strength, and frequency of singing increase to a peak point where the bird starts dancing on the perches.
Watch the sexual peak and readiness of this Canary male on our youtube channel:
Another clear sign of male readiness to mate is the bent and swelling of the vent. Before the breeding season, the vent of the canary bird, whether male or female, is pretty much the same: flat to slightly bent outward. When the males are ready to breed, the vent begins to enlarge, swell or thicken, and bend more outwards. When this happens there is no doubt that the bird is 100% ready to mate even if you don’t hear it sing!!!
Other secondary signs of male readiness include:
- calling to the female more often
- alertness and frequent movement and activity
- the dropping of wings
- increased feather shininess and luster
Signs your female canary is ready to breed
There are certain signs that the female canary is ready to mate and lay eggs. The most obvious sign is the changes in the vent and abdomen area. Before the breeding season, the female’s vent is slightly bent outwards just like the male, and it looks as if it is a separate part from the abdomen.
As the female canary becomes ready to lay an egg, you may observe certain physical changes. For example, the vent area becomes straight and appears to be a single surface with the abdomen as if they are one piece. Additionally, you may notice an enlargement in the abdominal area. This may be accompanied by a change in the appearance of feathers in the same area, which may become bolder or even fall out as the laying of eggs approaches.
Another clear and undoubtful sign is calling the male for mating. Females emit a distinct call or sound for such a purpose, and we refer to this call “tastsa” in Palestine. Hear it in the following video. This call is very similar to the one you hear when your canary is stressed or showing signs of distress:
The canary female can also display other signs of readiness such as flapping the wings. Flapping the wings could also mean that the bird is trying to stretch the wings. If you separate the female away from her mate, you will notice her flapping her wings and looking for the male by omitting distinctive rolling calls.
Finally, provide your canaries with a suitable nest box and nesting material. When the female canary begins to show interest in the nest and starts to gather nesting materials, this is usually a sign that she is ready to lay her eggs.
Note: if male and female canaries are housed in one cage but in separate compartments, you should see them feeding each other from behind the barrier, and this is a sign they are ready to breed, Good luck.
To learn more, check out our articles
- How to Breed Canaries: An Expert Step-By-Step Guide.
- How to Enhance Canaries’ Breeding Performance.
- How Do Canary Birds Mate? Nesting and Breeding.
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