The Beautiful Red Canary
The Red Canary, or “Red Factor Canary” is classed as a color canary — meaning that the bird is bred for its color and beauty, rather than their size, shape or singing abilities. They’re a cross-breed between the endangered Venezuelan Black Hooded Red Siskin and the Yellow Canary. The Red Canary is strictly a show bird and there are plenty of sub-categories this popular breed can fall into: Frosts and Non-Frosts, Lipochromes and Melonins, along with Soft Feathers and Hard Feathers. All categories affect the sheen and luster of each canary, while determining which class they fall into for competitions.
Just because they’re bred for competition doesn’t mean you can’t purchase one as a pet and wonderful showpiece at home: It’s just that they are a difficult canary to breed successfully and they do tend to cost more than other popular canaries that are bred for singing or their unique shapes.
The Red Canary also requires a unique diet to keep their color looking sharp: Red berries of all kinds, beets, squash, sweet potatoes, paprika, red peppers and others. Anything that contains Beta-Carotene and Canthaxanthin to help maintain and highlight their color. If you plan on entering them in competitions, you’ll have to monitor how the color foods affect their overall color to get award winning birds. This is most of the fun for owners, since it gives the owner a great deal of control to create a competition-crushing specimen.
Other than a special diet, they require an available bird bath and nothing more than other canaries. This is also a great breed for people who don’t like the singing aspect of canaries, as some Red’s sing, while most chirp once in a while and keep busy primping or roosting. Look for a breeder who specializes in color-bred canaries to make sure you get a true genetically color-bred bird and not something that’s been simply color fed certain foods to obtain the desired color.