Back to Back Issues Page
Store Bought Canary Treats
November 02, 2004

Here is your new edition of...

Your Guide to Canary Care Success...


Wednesday, November 3, 2004

CanaryTips! delivers VALUABLE information about the hobby of keeping
a canary as a pet AND tips for successful canary breeding.

Filled with timely tips, its designed to be your UP-TO-DATE canary care
that helps you provide the BEST living conditions for your flying friend. :-)

PROUDLY and JOYOUSLY presented by


Table of Contents
1) Canary Treats--Store-Bought.
2) Canaries in the News


Coming SOON to

1) Audios of Canary Songs.

2) More information on where to find the best deals on canary supplies...complete with special discounts from favorite retailers.



Canary Treats:  Store-Bought

In the last regular issue of CanaryTips! we talked about delicious canary treats that you could make at home...

  • Did your canary like them? 
  • How do YOU feel about them? 

I'm always curious how the articles in CanaryTips! are used...and how useful they are. 

Go to my contacts page and let me know how things went with your homemade canary treats.

Visit here to leave some feedback.


Today, however, you'll discover the benefits of store-bought treats.  YEAH!

These treats are SO-o-o-o easy.  Just open the package and...wha-LAH!...instant treat.

Simple, easy to use, and VERY affordable.  However...

One of the treats I'm recommending will take a little simple effort on your part...but it's a lot of FUN. :-) Keep reading...

--I've even arranged a way for you to save 20% next time you buy these treats online!-- More on that below.  But first...

Some canary treats are super high in sugar and fat.  Go easy on these.

High calories and not enough exercise--typical with caged canaries--equals a FAT canary.  I want to encourage you to keep your bird healthy by feeding wholesome treats. Which leads me to...


Three fun, healthy, and tasty canary treats.

These treats will be devoured by your canary AND are good for him too.

One of the classics and most popular of ALL bird treats is...

Millet Spray.

High in fat--and apparently VERY tasty--your canary will go at his millet with gusto! He'll really have a good time pulling the seed off the stem...which gives him some entertainment and exercise.

For a different texture and flavor try soaking the millet in water overnight ...Hey, your canary likes variety in his diet too. ;-)

Don't give one canary a WHOLE spray of millet...that's a lot of fatty treat for one little bird.  Cut off about a 3 inch piece of the stem and feed it to him with a clip on the side of the cage or in a large dish at the bottom of the cage.  Just...

Don't put it on the cage floor.  The millet will get mixed in with his droppings and your canary may end up with a bacterial infection.  Be safe...use a clip.

Visit here to see the clip.

Visit here to see the millet spray.

Another treat that your canary will enjoy is...

Egg Biscuit

One of the favorites around my aviary. Egg biscuit is a great source of protein...and protein is important now that the molt is ending and winter is setting in. 

Without his natural wild source of protein, namely "bugs", you'll have to make sure he gets what he needs-->and egg biscuits are perfect and delicious...

Visit here to learn more about egg biscuits.

And now for my favorite...Oh, and my canaries like it too...

Vitakraft Bird Greens.

These are fun for YOU because you get to participate. 

This is a kit for growing fresh greens for your canary.  Just follow the directions.  It's very long recipes to follow...I promise. ;-)

When the seeds have sprouted just clip the cup--which is provided--inside your canary's cage.  He'll really love these fresh home-grown greens and you'll get the satisfaction of growing them for your pet.

You don't need a green's probably the easiest thing you'll ever grow.

Visit here to learn more about the easy way to grow greens for your canary.

If you only get ONE THING that I recommend today...Vitakraft Bird Greens should be it.  Delicious and FUN! However...

You should get all three...these are...

  • The "TOP 3"
  • The best of the bunch
  • The cream of the crop

-->Good for your canary AND very affordable...AND...

I've arranged for you to save 20% at Petsmart. Just visit the link below before you actually go and buy the treats--or anything else...this discount is good toward anything on the site. :-)

If you've read through you know that Petsmart is my favorite online store. 

  • The prices are right...

  • service is great, and...

  • shipment is fast. 

There is plenty there for your other animals as well...dogs, cats, rabbits, husbands...;-)

To learn how you can save 20% on your order visit this link...

...this special is only good through December 1, 2004 so don't wait too long.


Canaries in the News

Whenever I stumble across a news item involving canaries I will be sharing it with you.

The following article mainly discusses Cowbirds but there is mention of a study involving canaries about half way through that I thought you might find interesting.


Raised by Others, Birds Use Code to Find Their Kind

The fact that the bird is raised to independence by unrelated foster parents prompts biologists to ask the question: How does the cowbird learn what it is and successfully find its way back to the flock to mate with its own kind?

Mark Hauber, a behavioral ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, is in search of an answer. His findings so far suggest that parasitic birds employ secret passwords of sorts to identify their own kind.

"As it turns out, a young, blind, six-day-old cowbird chick can already discriminate sounds that are produced only by adult cowbirds and similar sounds of other adult birds," he said, referring to one of his several published studies on the subject.

Other findings by Hauber and colleague Paul Sherman at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, include evidence that juvenile cowbirds inspect and memorize aspects of their own appearance to compare with other individuals they encounter.

Also, the researchers found that adult cowbirds visit young cowbirds while the youngsters are still living with other species. The adult cowbirds help teach fledglings cowbird-specific behaviors before they leave their foster homes.

Meredith West, a professor of psychology and biology at Indiana University in Bloomington, studies how cowbirds learn social behaviors after fledglings join the flock. She said Hauber has done some "clever work in the field" but does not think there is a big secret to how cowbirds recognize each other.

"It's sort of by default that they end up with each other, because nobody else wants to be around them," West said. "There's no magic bullet for when a cowbird says, I'm a cowbird."

Password: Chatter Call

According to Hauber, juvenile cowbirds, which fledge during the summer months, leave their foster parents about two weeks after hatching. By the time the young birds are one to two months old, they are flocking together with other cowbirds.

Research by West and her colleagues revealed that during their first winter, juvenile cowbirds learn from adult cowbirds proper courtship and other behaviors that enable them to successfully mate in the spring.

West and colleagues also gathered experimental data that revealed a surprising discovery: If cowbirds are housed with canaries during the first winter of their lives, then by spring the cowbirds will think they are canaries. They will make sexual advances at other canaries and sing canary songs.

Hauber, the Berkeley behavioral ecologist, says the finding underscores how important it is that cowbirds find their flock once they gain independence from their foster parents. "If you socialize with the wrong species during that first winter, you'll be confused for life," he said.

Hauber's "password hypothesis" holds that cowbirds and other parasitic birds possess a simple behavioral trait or cue that is both species specific and recognized by young birds that have never before encountered birds of their ilk.

The behavioral ecologist and his colleagues recognized such a trait in a specific cowbird call known as the chatter call.

Through a host of field and laboratory experiments, the researchers found that six-day-old and two-month-old naive cowbirds are attracted to the chatters produced uniquely by male and female adult cowbirds.

The researchers are uncertain how the cowbirds learn the secret password in the first place. But the scientists suspect that the begging call the cowbirds use to get food from their foster parents is acoustically similar to the chatter call.

"Indeed, as cowbird chicks grow older, their begging call morphs into a chatterlike call," Hauber said. "Perhaps listening to herself or himself, the young cowbird can identify others of their own kind."

According to West, attraction to chatter calls, as well as other visual cues that may also serve as passwords, may all help with recognition.

Parasitic Pests

Today cowbirds, which are native to the midwestern U.S., are considered a nuisance implicated in the decline of several species of songbirds throughout North America.

"They are attracted to short grass. They are ground-dwelling species looking for seeds and insects," Hauber said. Thus, where there are cattle, horses, bison, and lawn mowers, there are likely to be cowbirds, he added.

Cutting forests for pasture and suburban sprawl has allowed cowbirds to spread throughout the U.S. They are known to parasitize at least 200 different bird species, many of which have evolved no resistance to the parasitic birds, Hauber said.

Cowbirds are larger than most of the species they parasitize. As a result, when cowbird eggs hatch, the fledgling chicks monopolize the food brought by the foster parents, often to the detriment of the nestlings of the host species.

Hauber concedes that cowbirds are a nuisance species but noted that the birds tend to be scapegoats for the decline of some North American bird species. "It's habitat disappearance that is the crucial factor that seems to have allowed cowbirds to enter the picture," he said.

Regardless, he said, the study of cowbirds "may provide different lessons about the way evolution proceeds."


In the Next Issue of Canary Tips!...
1) "It's a Beautiful Fall Day...Why Isn't My Canary Singing?"
2) Breeding:  Rearing Young.


Written by Darren Walker
(c) copyright 2004


Back to Back Issues Page