Traditionally, in Russian homes, regardless of the we alth of their owners, songbirds were kept. With the growth of metropolitan areas, this occupation has not ceased to be common, and many today have feathered singers in their neighborhood. How to make the right choice? So that such coexistence brings joy to both you and the bird and does not cause any negative emotions? In this article we will try to answer the question of how to keep songbirds at home, and also help with the problem of choice.
The story of what types of decorative poultry are the most popular, it is worth starting with this graceful bird. She traditionally occupies a leading position among fans of domestic feathered singers. The canary got its name from its geographical homeland - the Canary Islands - from where it was first taken to Europe back in the 15th century.century.
Today, a wide variety of feather colors of these birds are known - from bright yellow, which has become traditional in breeding, to white, brown, light brown and red. As a result of selection work, canaries appeared with tufts or special feather curls.
This one of the best birds to keep at home sings almost throughout the year, only with the onset of summer, when canaries molt, the songs of this singer (for canaries, only the male sings, rarely the female) subside.
The canary is completely domesticated and accustomed to being kept in an apartment. She does not require special care from the owner, but her he alth and singing ability still depend on the conditions of her home.
A canary cage, located in a lighted place, but not on a window or in a draft, should be spacious enough - so that the bird can move freely, jumping from perch to perch. For group keeping of canaries (especially young birds), experienced poultry farmers advise using spacious aviaries.
Among the types of decorative poultry, one cannot fail to mention the inhabitants of the Russian expanses. For example, siskin. This bird was once very popular in Russia - this unpretentious appearance pichuga with greenish-yellow plumage and black patches has always delighted the inhabitants of the house in which she lived with her grace and lively character. Siskin is a bird slightly larger than a sparrow and slightly brighter in plumage. Her hallmark is"hat" of black feathers on the head.
After the canary, the siskin is the first bird commonly recommended to beginner bird keepers. She is very trusting, and she has good communication skills: even a siskin caught in the forest usually quickly stops being shy and can easily learn to fly out of the cage and, having "walked", return back on its own.
The siskin's diet is quite diverse: in nature, this bird eats the seeds of woody plants and small insects. Judging by the reviews, in captivity she is usually given a grain mixture, which includes crushed sunflower seeds, oatmeal, seasonal fruits and herbs, as well as finely grated carrots, crushed white bread crackers, ant eggs and, if possible, small insects.
The singing of the siskin is not as virtuoso as that of some other feathered singers, but it easily adopts the trills of other birds and sings for about 10 months a year. It should be noted that males are singing among siskins, and only in exceptional cases can females sing.
This is a bird that does not require special skills in keeping, suitable even for a novice fancier. The combination of bright yellow feathers on the head, abdomen and neck, combined with the brown wing feathers, make this pichuga elegant, and the complex but melodic song is attractive for the neighborhood.
However, oatmeal is not so easy to tame. As the poultry houses write in the reviews, she is shy and will even sing at first only if she does not see a person nearby.
Eat oatmeal with a regular grain mixture, combined with fresh fruits and herbs. You can offer the bird and various insect larvae.
And this bird is also a common inhabitant of Russian forests, groves, gardens and parks. Like the canary and the siskin, he is a representative of a large family of finches. The repertoire of the carduelis is almost as diverse as that of the canary, although it has its own originality. The main difference between these birds is that not only goldfinches, males, but also females can sing. And they do it even better than males. So for home maintenance, it is usually recommended to take it. Poultry farmers often note in the reviews that rather sharp, unpleasant sounds sometimes creep into the trills of these birds.
Among the names of birds with a description of their appearance, without a doubt, the goldfinch is especially noticeable. This is a very elegant bird. Its plumage combines red, yellow, white and black. However, this feathered bird is slightly smaller than a sparrow, so in natural conditions you will not immediately notice it among the foliage.
It should be borne in mind that a goldfinch caught, and not bred in captivity, can be tamed for a long time, shy of a person and does not immediately begin to sing in a cage.
Answering the question of how to choose a songbird for keeping at home, we can safely recommend the chaffinch.
This bird has a reddish-gray breast (brown in the female) and grayish feathers on the head and neck. Wings with black and white splashes.
Singing finch (and they sing, like a canary,only males) - a long and melodic trill with a kind of rolling "stroke" at the end. Moreover, there can be ten or so separate special trills in the repertoire of this little singer. By virtuosity, the singing of a finch is compared with a nightingale. It is known that in Europe lovers and keepers of finches even organize competitions-tournaments, representing their favorites. The winners get rather big rewards.
Finch, like all granivorous small birds, in captivity can be fed canary mix, which is sold in pet stores. Sometimes chopped boiled egg and dried white bread are added to it, as well as caterpillars and worms.
Among the songbirds for home maintenance, these birds are also listed. Moreover, we associate them not so much with skillful singing, but with a sign of good news and with the general elegance of color. The male, unlike the female, has a red chest and parts of the abdomen, as well as a black cap.
The bullfinch in the reviews is characterized by relatively modest song abilities, but good tameability and undemanding care. At the same time, the bird is prone to mockery and often borrows trills from the arias of other feathered singers overheard by it. This behavior is especially common when kept in captivity.
The bullfinch is friendly and not aggressive, so it is suitable even when kept with other bird species in the same cage. The basis of the nutrition of this bird at home can becanary mix with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
This bird stands alone in the list of songbirds for home keeping, because it has not only an interesting voice, which includes a variety of sounds "overheard" by the starling in habitable space, but also the bright abilities of the mockingbird. The repertoire of this bird often includes trills of other feathered singers, meowing of cats, barking of dogs and even something similar to human speech.
The starling looks like a blackbird, but has white patches in its plumage and a characteristic greenish-gray tint.
In addition, the starling has a lively and inquisitive disposition, quickly gets used to the person he often sees nearby, has no special gastronomic preferences. It can be said that it is practically omnivorous. Insect larvae, small invertebrates, cooked animal mix, as well as porridge, soaked white bread, seeds, nuts, berries and fruits can all make up a starling's diet.
To keep this bird, you need a low but spacious cage - because the starling loves to run along the bottom and dig in the ground. To do this, pour clean sand on a pallet with a layer of a couple of centimeters.
Among the insectivorous songbirds for home keeping, the most popular, of course, are the thrush and the nightingale.
There are quite a few varieties of thrushes in nature, but black and song thrushes are recommended for home keeping. Both of them are distinguished by singing talents, but they lookdifferently. If the black one resembles a miniature rook (the male has a bright yellow beak), then the song thrush is yellowish with clear variegated markings on the abdomen and brownish wings. The appearance of the latter is slightly more elegant than that of a sparrow, but this bird is larger in size.
The thrush's song, measured and unhurried, is very beautiful - it is distinguished by short trills and whistling passages. The blackbird has more muffled sounds, lovers compare its song with flute tunes.
The thrush feeds on invertebrates, and in winter and autumn - the fruits of trees. Thus, this bird can be called an omnivore. His distinguishing behavior is hunting on the ground, among thickets and bushes.
In captivity, along with earthworms, slugs, ant eggs, raw or boiled meat, as well as apples, grated carrots and berries - elderberries, mountain ash, bird cherry, etc. can be included in the thrush's diet.
However, it should be noted that the thrush, like most insectivorous birds, is distrustful and shy. It will take a lot of patience to tame it.
And now, finally, let's talk about nightingales. This bird turned out to be the last on our list, of course, not in terms of vocal data, but in connection with the well-known problems of keeping it in captivity.
In appearance, the nightingale is a rather small and nondescript bird. She has rather large black eyes, plumage on the back and wings is dark brown, on the abdomen is white-brown. There are two subspecies of nightingales - western and eastern. The latter, which is distributed almost everywhere in the territory of the formerSoyuz, as a singer, is more appreciated by fans. His song is more sonorous and her knees are more pronounced. The western nightingale sings more quietly, but, according to connoisseurs, more tender. The endings of the song stanzas of the "Westerners" are softly rounded.
However, it is also known that each bird is distinguished by its vocal abilities. As bird keepers write in the reviews, age, habitat, and even diet can affect the characteristics of the singing of an individual.
Those who are going to get a nightingale should keep in mind that these birds should live in a cage one by one, and the owner should be patient, because the nightingale is a rather nervous and distrustful creature, which means that the process of taming, or at least getting used to a new place of residence will not be easy. But if the bird has already settled down, then it will definitely become attached to its owner
Since in nature it is an exclusively insectivorous bird, sometimes adding berries to its diet depending on the season, the most difficult and responsible task facing the bird-lover is feeding the nightingale. It is fed with flour worms, sometimes a surrogate protein food is added to the diet, the so-called "nightingale mash", prepared in the form of a mixture of low-fat cottage cheese, grated carrots, finely chopped beef meat, and a hard-boiled chopped chicken egg. You can also add crushed eggshells and gammarus (food for aquarium fish) here. It should be noted that only one of the mash recipes is given, there are a lot of variations of such food.
When ripe, you can offernightingale greens, pieces of fruit and wood berries. Elderberry is especially loved by this bird.
We talked about what kind of songbirds you can keep at home.