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what birds do canaries get along with?

What Kind of Birds Can Live with Canaries?

Canaries don’t need company since they spend most of their time alone in the wild. However, a companion bird can bring out positive behaviors and traits in a canary.

You’re not just limited to getting a second canary. Certain other birds can get along with canaries as long as they have sufficient space, get to spend time with you, and don’t have to compete for resources.

Some birds can cohabitate peacefully with canaries, while others dislike each other.

Canary Personality Traits

While some birds have laid-back and docile temperaments, others are domineering and aggressive. Likewise, some birds are naturally solitary and territorial, while others are social and affectionate.

You should evaluate each personality type when deciding on a combination of birds. Keeping birds with mismatched personalities in a cage is likely to cause fights, affecting all birds’ physical and mental health.

Of course, there are different types of canaries, and they have varying personalities and behavioral traits that are unique to their species. In general, canaries are solitary birds by nature and don’t get lonely when left alone in their cages for long periods of time.

They rarely appreciate frequent handling, although they enjoy being around people.

Despite their solitary nature, canaries are relatively docile compared to other bird species and can coexist well with certain birds.

Canaries can grow hostile toward their own and other bird species. Also, male canaries often fight when kept in a shared cage with other males, especially during the breeding season.

What Birds Can You Keep Canaries With?

Here are the types of birds that can live with canaries:


Finches and canaries belong to the same order of birds (Passeriformes), so they share many physical and personality traits. However, while canaries are solitary birds, finches tend to be social.

Consequently, they thrive when housed in pairs or groups. However, their small size and close relationship mean that canaries and finches can be paired together.

However, there are various breeds of finches, some of which are more temperamental than canaries. So, if you want to keep them together, you must be selective.

Finches that get along with canaries include:

  •  Star finches
  •  Society finches (Bengalese finches)
  • Gouldian finches
  • Double-barred finches (Owl finches)
  • Munia finches
  • Plum-headed finches
  • Red-headed parrot finches

Note that star finches are more timid than canaries. If you decide to keep star finches and canaries together, ensure that canaries don’t bully the finches.

More domineering finches can also live with canaries, as long as they’re monitored closely to ensure they don’t overwhelm the canaries, including:

  • Strawberry finches
  • Zebra finches
  • Java sparrows
  • Lavender waxbills

Of these breeds, zebra finches tend to be the most aggressive. According to Behaviour, zebra finches frequently fight in defense of:

  • Food
  • Mates
  • Nesting materials
  • Perches
  • Nesting sites

If you intend to keep these birds in an aviary with canaries, provide lots of space, perches, toys, and other furnishings to keep everyone happy and minimize hostility.

Also, keep them in pairs (male and female) to prevent fighting over mating partners.

The more aggressive types of finches should never be kept in the same aviary as canaries, including:

  • Cut-throat finches
  • Diamond firetail finches
  • Crimson finches
  • Bar-breasted fire finches
  • Parson finches
  • Cuban melodious finches
  • Violet-eared waxbills
  • Peter’s twinspots


Unlike finches, canaries, and budgies, doves aren’t particularly affectionate and are best kept as cage birds. They don’t enjoy close interaction and often act out erratically when handled forcefully.

However, some doves can be hand-tamed and domesticated enough to not fear humans. Canaries, like doves, are gentle birds that can coexist well in aviaries with other small birds.

Since doves and canaries have much in common regarding personality and care needs, they do well when housed together in an aviary. Ensure the cage is spacious with lots of feeding platforms and toys.

what birds can you keep with canaries?


Budgies are a small bird species belonging to the parrot family (psittacines).

They’re one of the most popular pet birds, commonly kept for their affectionate personalities, small size, high energy, intelligence, and ability to learn words and phrases.

In terms of temperament, budgies are as docile as canaries, although they’re more social than solitary. Behavioural Processes revealed that budgies actively seek social stimulation from other flock members, which explains why they thrive in pairs or small groups.

Due to their good-natured personalities, budgies can be housed with canaries. However, the aviary must be large enough to ensure both birds have personal space.

Although budgies are docile, they can get snappy when agitated. Their strong beaks can cause injury, so you must verify that everyone gets along.

Button Quails

Button quails are a small species of bird from the turnicidae family.

They’re relatively quiet compared to canaries but also very active and fun to watch. While they’re harder to tame, they respond well to love and attention from their owners.

Personality-wise, button quails are shy birds that are easily startled. They love having numerous places to hide within their cage or outdoor enclosure. So, enrich their habitat with plants and other objects they can hide behind.

Since they move about often (and do so quickly), button quails require a substantial amount of floor area in their enclosures. A button quail will fly straight up to flee when frightened or startled, so there’s a risk of serious harm if the enclosure’s roof is hard.

To prevent this, install a safety net made from fine mesh or other soft material at the top of the button quails’ cage. This will offer protection if it flies to the top of the cage.

Due to their docile temperament and small sizes, button quails get along well with canaries.

Housing button quails and canaries together is also convenient since they inhabit different levels of space. Button quails prefer the bottom of the cage and canaries prefer the top of the cage.

Compatibility Table 

Finches:HighCanaries and finches belong to the same family of birds and have many similar physical and behavioral traits that make them highly compatible.
Doves:ModerateLike canaries, doves are docile by nature and less prone to aggression than other birds. While doves are solitary by nature, their calm personalities allow them to coexist with other birds.
Budgies:HighBudgies are social birds that get along well with other birds. However, when kept with canaries, they should be closely monitored as their strong beaks can cause physical harm in the event of fighting.
Button Quails>HighButton quails are docile birds that are rarely aggressive toward other birds. They inhabit different cage levels, making them convenient to keep alongside canaries.

How To Introduce Canaries To Other Birds

While having several different species of birds in your aviary can be a fun experience, it’s important to remember that some birds may not get along well with others. So, if you’re planning to house canaries with other birds, you need to be smart about how you introduce them.

Pair Species By Temperament And Size

Before introducing your canaries to other bird species, consider their temperament levels.

For instance, if there are any aggressive canaries in your aviary, put them together with other aggressive bird species. Then, place the more calm and docile birds together.

Also, avoid putting large and small birds of different species together. The more dominant birds are likely to bully and attack the small, vulnerable ones.

Put Birds In Pairs

If introducing several budgies or finches to your canaries, ensure each bird has at least one partner, as this will minimize aggression over mating options.

Introduce Birds To Aviary At The Same Time

Ideally, you should introduce all birds into your aviary at the same time. This prevents birds from staking the territory as their own, thus making them more likely to coexist.

Remove Aggressive Birds from Aviary

A difficult bird in a flock can make life unbearable for the rest of the birds. So, if you notice that one of your canaries is aggressive toward others, isolate it and transfer it to a separate cage.

Remember to rearrange the shared aviary when removing the troublesome bird to slightly alter the power dynamic. For instance, you can switch up the perches and feeding stations so that the cage feels different for the remaining birds.

How Should Canaries Live with Other Birds?

Monitoring the birds in your aviary is crucial when keeping different species together.

Although canaries live fairly well with certain birds, fights and disputes can still occur. If these incidences become frequent, your birds will become stressed out, negatively impacting their health.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize hostility and infighting, including

Sufficient Space

Space is the most important consideration when housing canaries and other birds together.

Canaries, finches, and budgies are active birds that require space to spread their wings and move around, all without getting in each other’s way.

So, if you plan on keeping multiple birds together, get a large cage that’s spacious enough to accommodate each bird’s needs.

You should also ensure enough perches are inside the cage (at least one for each pair) to minimize squabbling over sleeping spots. 

Avoid Overcrowding Issues

Regardless of how spacious your aviary is or how docile the combinations of birds are, keeping multiple birds will lead to infighting.

For example, canaries are solitary and thrive better when kept alone or in pairs, while finches and budgies are more social and prefer larger flocks.

So, if you’re planning to rear any combination of birds together, keep the aviary sparsely populated, as this will promote peaceful coexistence and lead to less stress for your birds.

Extra Feeding Stations

When several birds are kept in a single enclosure, where they must share resources such as food and water, fights will inevitably arise.

This happens as the more dominant birds attempt to hoard the resources at the expense of others. This is just as true of mixed flocks as single-species flocks.

Therefore, if you want to maintain harmony and peaceful coexistence, provide multiple feeding stations. Doing so will ensure all birds in your flock have unrestricted access to food and water.