Why has my Canary Stopped Singing?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 7, 2016
Why has my Canary Stopped Singing?

A canary singing every day is a sign that it is a happy and healthy bird - and it's lovely to hear. Besides having beautiful yellow feathers, singing is the main skill and attraction of canaries. This is why when you have a canary and you notice that it doesn't sing as much, or if it simply stops, you need to start paying serious attention to it.

The issue of having any kind of bird in a cage is quite controversial. However, most canaries have been bred and raised in captivity, and they couldn't survive on their own. As owners, our responsibility is to give our canaries a good life, caring for them and keep them in the best conditions possible.

Canaries may stop singing for many reasons; luckily, this is an issue that can be resolved as long as you notice it in time. AnimalWised has investigated the causes and solutions; read on to know what to expect and what to do if your canary has stopped singing.

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  1. Why do canaries stop singing?
  2. What can you do about it?
  3. A pleasant and bright home
  4. Still nothing?

Why do canaries stop singing?

In many cases, canaries stop singing for no apparent reason. Although singing is part of their nature, it might look like your canary has changed overnight and it does not feel like singing anymore. Sometimes, we humans change our tastes and interests - could this happen to canaries?

Canaries, of course, can't speak and therefore they won't tell you if something is wrong. It is therefore very important to know what may be causing their muteness and explore the possibilities to see if they will sing again.

Let's have a look at the most common causes why canaries don't sing:

  • If your canary is female, you should know that most female canaries do not sing. If they do, their singing is not as refined and pleasant as the male's. Finding out the sex of your canary may seem easy, but in fact it can get complicated - it's better to check with an expert.
  • Canaries get sad too. Your bird could be depressed for many reasons. It may not be used to its cage, or it may be too small. Your canary may be bored of its food or it might not have enough light where it is living.
  • It's molting its feathers. All birds go through this process, and it may become very stressful because they use a lot of energy. Therefore, they could stop singing for a few months when molting, which usually happens between summer and autumn. Here you can learn the best way of caring for a molting canary.
  • If your canary has molted its feathers but you see that it is presenting symptoms such as listlessness, not eating very much or perhaps eating too much, lying on the floor all the time or your bird is swollen, it is very possible that your canary is sick.
Why has my Canary Stopped Singing? - Why do canaries stop singing?

What can you do about it?

Most birds eat seeds, but canaries require more than that in order to feel healthy and happy. If you feed them just a simple and inexpensive mix, try buying tastier and more varied seeds.

Give your canary a nutritional boost and accompany its diet with vegetables and fruits - apples, oranges, bananas and broccoli are good choices. They also like to eat corn. Do not give them additional food every day; you should only do it two or three times a week.

Always pay attention to their nails because they grow very quickly. Long nails may cause them pain whenever they are perching.

Why has my Canary Stopped Singing? - What can you do about it?

A pleasant and bright home

A key factor in keeping your canary healthy and happy is the state and location of its cage. The larger the cage, the better. This way, the bird will not feel cornered. Always keep the cage clean and provide fresh water at all times.

In terms of location, the cage must be in a place where there is a natural light source - television lights or a light bulb do not count. In order for your canary to maintain a stable biological clock, only give it the number of hours of light it needs. Canaries sleep and need a break from the light. Cover its cage with a sheet at dusk and take it off again at dawn.

Why has my Canary Stopped Singing? - A pleasant and bright home

Still nothing?

If your canary's singing has still not returned after checking all these factors, you might want to consider our guide on how to improve a canary's singing and 5 steps to get a canary to sing.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why has my Canary Stopped Singing?, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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Sue Severs
My canary appears to have a cough,or something stuck in his throat, he,s trying to sing but can't manage, what can I do
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sue,

We are afraid we cannot diagnose anything here, only make possible suggestions via the articles. If you are unsure, you will need to take them to a specialist veterinarian or even a local birdlife organization.
Judy Stewart
my canary seems to have a stuffy nose and makes a wheezing sound when he breathes, he tries to chirp but it comes out husky, has he got the flu?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Judy,

We cannot diagnose veterinary problems here as it would be irresponsible. We can only suggest reasons why it may be the case, as is stated in the article. We suggest seeking advice from a vet specialized in exotic animals.
also my canary's claws are pretty long, but someone told me that i should just leave them
despite my attempts to get my canary to sing (giving him vegetables and fruits, playing a radio for him), he just wont. i know he is male because before we moved he sang those long notes i have read about and that was for almost three years, i think he might still be stressed out about it. he will sometimes chirp happily, but that's it. what should i do?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sunny,

A canary has its own will, but there are many reasons it has stopped singing. While it isn't a surefire way, this article might help with some tips to encourage singing again:
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Why has my Canary Stopped Singing?