|Updated: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm
||Published: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm
If you've never owned a bird before, a canary's a good one to start with. They're small and relatively easy to care for. Changing the newspaper at the bottom of the cage each day and sweeping or vacuuming up the seeds that spill from the cage represents the bulk of canary ownership. They don't require you to handle them as much as some other species. Be sure to find a local veterinarian who'll treat birds. Some vets specialize in bird care, while others refuse to treat them. Like any bird, it's important to feed your canary a varied diet. Commercial seed mixes need to be supplemented by pellet feed and occasional fresh fruits and vegetables. Environment is also important. Smoking, air fresheners, and even cooking sprays can be toxic to birds. Remember, canaries were once carried into mines to detect poison gasses. If the canary died, miners got out. If you're willing to make the commitment to caring for a bird, the sweet song of a male canary in your home can make it all worthwhile.