Border Canary


The border canary, also called the border fancy canary, is a lively, pleasant-natured bird bred more for its physical appearance than for its song. It is a type canary). This bird was once nicknamed the “Wee Gem” and it is a small, compact and hardy bird. Most often this type of canary is yellow, but it does come in a variety of other colors as well, including white, buff, green and cinnamon, and it can be variegated or ticked.

Border canaries are active, engaging birds that fit into the popular notion of the “Tweety” bird character. They are good natured and social and tend to amuse and entertain themselves with their own activities and singing. Birds of this species that do come out of their cage for perching or to be show birds require some training, and they are easy to train. They are relatively low maintenance birds that enjoy an enriched environment.

Behavior / Health Concerns

The border canary does well in either cages or aviaries. They are on the timid side and should not be housed together with parakeets, lovebirds or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive. In a spacious aviary, canaries can generally be housed with other canaries, finches and other hardbills. They like to bathe daily and should be given water to do so. Their environment should not be wet, cool or drafty, and if they are given space to sunbathe, they should also have a shaded area to protect from too much sun. Keep perches clean to avoid any foot problems.

Expert Advice

“The border canary originated from the Chopper canary selectively bred in the British Isles around the 1700s. In 1889 at a gathering at the town of Langholm the name border canary and its standards were put into effect. Border canaries stand at a 60-degree angle.”

—Mandy Currie, Singing Wings Aviary

Breed Details

Scientific Name:
Native Region:
5.5 inches
Life Expectancy:
Up to 10 years
Noise Level:
Quiet, with a choppy song
Talk / Trick Ability:
Canaries are kept for their singing ability and antics.