Among pets, not the last place is occupied by representatives of birds, including canaries. The latter are loved for their bright color (even if they are monochrome) and beautiful singing. But if you choose a canary only for the purpose of enjoying its amazing singing, then you need to know the fact that only males sing beautifully. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to determine the sex of a bird. In addition, it will also come in handy for choosing a couple for an already existing single singer who will not live long without a female – longing will seize.
Ways to distinguish a male from a female
It should immediately be noted that it is not possible for an inexperienced poultry farmer to distinguish a male from a female. Especially in cases where he does not know any signs that directly or indirectly indicate that the individual belongs to one sex or another. Sometimes even experienced canary breeders argue among themselves about the gender of some individual birds, getting confused in the available signs.
You can distinguish a kenar from a canary in the following ways:
- visually by external signs;
- by chirping and singing;
- by behavioral factors.
There are, in addition, several signs that breeders use. However, for beginners, they are either not suitable, since there is nothing to compare with (they are buying a bird for the first time), or they are relevant only under certain conditions. Therefore, we restrict ourselves to simple information about them. Experienced poultry farmers in their determination of the sex of canaries are guided by the following methods:
- by the appearance of the eggs laid for the landing of chicks;
- according to the location of the eyes relative to the line of the closed beak;
- on the behavior of chicks when touching their beak or tummy.
I must say that the above-mentioned professional methods for determining the sex of canaries are sometimes not 100% accurate, and therefore cannot serve as criteria for choosing a bird of the desired sex.
It is best to stick to methods that more accurately determine the sex of this songbird.
Here are the following differences.
- The shape of the cloaca. In canaries, the cloaca is more elongated and convex, resembling a cylinder ending with several feathers. In females, it is flat and covered with down. This difference is especially noticeable in the reproductive age of the bird. To examine the genitals, the bird is carefully taken by hand so that it is belly up (just do not need to squeeze the bird strongly in the palm of your hand). And then they blow on the area below the abdomen, inflating the feathers and in this way revealing the cloaca.
- Tail length. This method works only in comparison of two different-sex individuals of the same age. Canaries have a longer tail (about 0.5 cm). Of course, this method is not suitable for choosing birds in a pet store or in a bird market – there you can hardly find reliable information about the age of the compared individuals. As for gender, they can also be deceived. There is a high probability that a canary is in front of the buyer, if you run your finger along the bird’s abdomen in the “on its back” position and it will begin to actively pull its paws. Females usually press them.
- Tail position. If you hold the bird in the palm of your hand, placed horizontally, with the tail outward, then the position of the tail of the female will be much higher than that of the male.
- The shape of the chest and abdomen. On closer examination of the bird’s abdomen, you can see that the female has a more prominent chest part, and the canary has a part of the abdomen. But such a difference can only be seen in a comparison of two individuals of different sexes.
- The shape of the top of the head. Kenari have a more rounded and even head shape with a developed forehead, while in girls it is flat with a barely noticeable frontal part. Again, such a sign is useless for those buyers who have little knowledge of canaries.
- Color. Usually, when comparing two birds of the same age of different sexes and of the same species, more intense colors can be noted in kenars in certain parts of the plumage.
Differences in singing
On this basis, it is impossible to identify young individuals, since their singing abilities do not always appear in the early period of life. They begin to sing fully at the age of 8–9 months. But the fact is known that only male birds sing beautifully, and girls mostly make sounds similar to abrupt bird chirping. Of course, there are cases when females sang no worse than males, but this applies to exceptions.
The sounds and singing that females make are very different from the sounds of males. Canaries have a longer singing, and the “vocabulary” is much wider and is constantly expanding over time. Females, on the other hand, emit a short squeak or a short whistle, and if they sing, it resembles, rather, not singing, but quiet cooing.
Besides, all the sounds of females have a loudness, much weaker than the sounds and singing of kenars. Males sing selflessly, long and loudly, and the abundance of their sounds seems endless. There is no such variety in the sounds of canaries.
It should be noted that many experts recommend purchasing canaries at the age of no earlier than 8 months, when the bird is already showing its voice. That is, it confirms the opinion that one should not particularly hope for signs of sex determination of canaries based on methods other than the method of sounds and singing.
At the same time, beginners should be warned that during molting, males are usually silent, and if they try to make any sounds, they can easily be confused with the sounds of females. Sometimes the same can be observed during nesting.
As for the behavior of canaries, the vast majority of breeders note the factor of greater activity of males. In this regard, you should follow the selected bird for some time. However during nesting, on the contrary, the female is more active in the process of nest building, although both birds – both male and female – take part in this. Finally, do not talk about egg laying – the male is not a participant here.
When singing or making any sounds, the canary inflates its goiter, which is not typical for canaries.
Yes, and in everything the bird-boys are more active, more mischievous than the girls. The factor of external sex determination, when a finger is drawn over the bird’s abdomen and by its reaction to this action, also confirms the activity of the male, and not the submissiveness of the female.
You will find answers to common questions about keeping canaries below.