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How to Catch and Hold Your Canary
October 20, 2006

Your Guide to Canary Care Success.

“3 Easy Steps to Catching and Holding Your Canary”



It really feels good to be back on track with the CanaryTips! Ezine. I’ve finally gotten into a good groove and have several articles in the works and lined up for delivery. :-)

Many of your fellow subscribers have been keeping me busy shipping out Classic Canary CDs

and giving detailed answers via Canary Care GOLD. But I’m still fitting in time to write ezine articles and work on the Healthy Canary be released soon. I'm not complaining, by the way. I love every minute of it and I love helping people out.

Creating and keeping up with has been a blast...not to mention a great learning experience. So, I’d like to take one second, right now, to say...

THANK YOU! Thank you for hanging in there with me while I get my priorities straightened out.

Your last issue of CanaryTips! talked about how it could possibly be dangerous to hold your canary--and yet it is absolutely necessary.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all canaries will have a mental breakdown if their held. In fact, I’m saying just the opposite...

You MUST catch and hold your canary on occasion. And MOST canaries will do fine if they’re held for a few minutes for routine maintenance. Some canary owners claim their bird ENJOYS being held.

But you likely have one of those canaries that just doesn’t tolerate being held well. If this is the case, you’ll need to do things as quickly and gently as possible.

And that leads me to today’s feature article...


You know...some people are so afraid of catching and holding their canary bird that they just never do it. They say, “Oh, he’s fine. He doesn’t need anything. Hi sings, he flutters around the cage, he eats well. I assume I have no reason to catch him.”


Your canary bird can get sick and die before you even notice symptoms. And most breeders catch, inspect, and give medication to their birds at least 2 or 3 times per year...even if they look perfectly healthy. They know that just because they APPEAR fine doesn’t mean they ARE fine.

How to inspect your canary bird for illnesses is a subject of a future Ereport. It will include a 27 step process for MAKING SURE your loving canary is healthy. Your canary will do everything he can to hide an illness and because of this instinct it’s hard to know when he’s sick.

This Ereport is extremely valuable for avoiding Canary Sudden Death Syndrome. You’ll definitely want to get a copy for yourself. Keep your eyes peeled for it sometime during the next couple of weeks.

For now though, I would suggest, at a bare minimum, treating with Scatt if you haven’t done so lately and cutting your canary’s nails if he’s due.

Until next time, Make Your Canary S-I-N-G!

Your Friend,
Darren P.D. Walker



Once in a while you’re going to have to catch and hold your canary. It’s a good idea to treat for mites and cut nails on a regular basis. Plus, it’s a very good idea to check him out for other abnormalities.

When it does come time to catch and hold your canary remember to do everything as quickly and as gently as possible.

• Hold your canary firmly but not tightly.
• Allow plenty of room for his chest to expand as he breaths.
• Allow his feet to rest on and grasp your finger as you hold him. He’ll feel more secure that way.

As you’re holding your bird you’ll likely notice his rapid heart beat. Your canary’s heart beats quickly even under normal situations. When he’s held it speeds up dramatically. Why? Because he’s stressed and he’s scared. That’s why you should do what you need to do quickly then release him back to his cage.


Approach your bird’s cage without sudden movements. Speak to him softly as you might when bringing him a treat. This can have a great calming effect.

To make the process safer and easier, remove perches and swings from his cage. This will prevent him from accidentally bumping into one and will allow free movement of your hand and arm. You might even want to remove feeders and waterers if you feel they can get in the way.


Insert your hand into the cage. Your canary bird will probably fly to one of the cage walls. If you’re right handed you’ll want him on the left wall. If you’re left handed you’ll want him on the right wall. Here’s why...

For the sake of simplicity, from this point on I’ll explain the process as if you’re right handed. Lefties will do the opposite. No offense meant to you lefties. I know, “Lefties have rights too” ;-)

When you insert your hand into your bird’s cage keep it near the right side of the cage. When your bird flies away from your hand, and lands on the left wall, quickly and gently place your cupped hand over your bird. Your canary bird will be trapped between your hand and the wire cage wall.

Don’t smash him!

Your hand should be cupped with fingers spread. This can actually be done while barely touching your bird. The idea is NOT to “grab” your bird but to trap him between the wall and your hand. At this point he still has a little free movement and he will look around for an escape. But your fingers are close enough to each other that he can’t get away.

NOTE: If you miss him the first time, just gently spook him over to the left side of the cage and try again. This is where your quickness comes in handy. When you see your canary bird flying toward the left cage wall your hand should already be in motion to trap him. This all happens in a split second.

1. He flies to the left; your hand moves to the left.

2. He lands on the cage wall; your hand immediately traps him against the cage wall before he can fly away.

Remember...You don’t want to chase him around the cage. It’ll make him very nervous and frightful.

If you can’t catch him within 5 trys, STOP. Wait 30 minutes or more and try again.

OK. So you’ve got him trapped between the wall of the cage and your cupped hand. And you did it on the second try. Excellent!

Now just gently close your fingers around him and pull him out of the cage. He will likely try and hold on to the cage bars with his feet so don’t pull him away quickly or he’ll injure his toes. Pull away slowly so he can gradually let go of the bars.


There are at least 2 different ways of holding your canary bird. Both ways include having his back against the palm of your hand.

• One way is to hold him with your thumb and index finger up over his shoulders. His head will be encircled. Your other 3 fingers will be on or near his belly and/or chest.

• The second is to have your index and middle finger extend up over his shoulders.

A lot of this depends on the size and shape of your hand. One grip may feel better than the other. I personally prefer the first method. I feel like I’ve got more control that way.

Try not to hold him on his back or upside down. That can be very uncomfortable for him. Hold him upright, with his head up as much as possible. And don’t forget to let him grasp one of your fingers with his feet.

When you’re done holding him simply place your hand in the cage and open it so he can get out. If he just lays in the palm of your hand looking at you, place him on the bottom of the cage. He’ll be OK in a few minutes.

Don’t forget to replace the perches and other furnishings.

While you may think your canary bird is “fine” and doesn’t need an up-close visual inspection, cutting nails is an absolute necessity. If you don’t do it now you risk serious problems later. In the next issue of CanaryTips! Ezine I’ll go over step-by-step how to cut your canary’s nails. And I’ll do my best to get some photos of it posted at

Don’t be afraid to catch and hold your canary bird.

It rarely results in any serious trauma.

And you have to do it occasionally if you want to insure your bird is happy and healthy.

, don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the new Ereport featuring a 27 point checklist on preventing Canary Sudden Death Syndrome. This new, all original, Ereport is so important to canary lovers like you that it’s getting its own website. I don’t want you or any other canary owner to be without it.


HAVE YOU GOTTEN YOURS? The Classic Canary CD is full of beautiful canary song that will keep your canary S-I-N-G-I-N-G! For details and to hear a sample go to...Canary Song


Written by Darren P.D. Walker
(c) copyright 2006

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