Ask Lafeber


July 21, 2022

first time having a canary

so basically, it’s my first time having any sort of pet. he’s a male canary, 2-3 years old. i just recently got him from a friend. since the weather was nice outside, i used to have him outside in the shade all day and then at night i would take him into a garage because it was really dark and he’d always be quick to fall asleep. i just put him inside the house today because now the weather is starting to get too hot but i’m finding he’s not singing often as he used to and i checked at 9:45pm to see if he was sleeping but he was still awake. it never took him this long to fall asleep before and i’m getting worried. when he would sleep in the garage i wouldn’t put a cover on top because it was already dark and he would be alone. but as now he’s sleeping in the house, i put a cover over the cage and turned off the light but still he was awake. is this normal for change of environment or?


Hi Charlie,

Don’t worry about when he decides to sleep. They will even nap off and on during the day. It’s really best to keep him indoors at night. And during the day, it’s OK for him to be outside depending on the temperature. Birds will die from overheating much quicker than being too cold. The thing about taking a bird in and out is the temperature change. If your house is cool and it’s hot outside, it can be too much of a temperature change to take him out. Same with the reverse. There are also concerns about diseases and parasites from outdoors birds, and being attacked by a predator. Most native mammals will attack a small bird, birds of prey will attack one – even one in a cage – and domestic cats and dogs can be a danger. So when he is outside, he needs to be where you can keep an eye on him. You don’t want to find a dead bird or a pile of feathers in the cage. And unless your garage is very secure, he could be in danger from rats or wildlife that might find a way into the garage.

Covering him at night is fine. If he hears you approach the cage, he likely will wake up. He is a prey animal, so even when sleeping, he is alert. Most likely you woke him up when you checked on him. It’s best to cover him up and not disturb him until morning.

As for singing, they do not sing all the time. Male canaries sing to attract a mate. Changing his routine and environment probably stressed him a little, so he isn’t that interested in attracting a mate right now. And they usually do not sing year round.

I would recommend researching canaries in general and then you can learn more about their behavior and care. Relax and enjoy him – if you are stressed about him, he will get stressed. They are nice little birds and not too hard to care for.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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