How to Cross a Finch and a Canary Bird

Updated November 21, 2016

A cross between a finch and a canary is called a mule, which in essence is a hybrid breed of bird. Crossing a canary with a finch produces a bird with a more melodic tone and the longer, happier life of the domestic canary. The green finch and gold finch are the most popular variety of finches to successfully breed with the canary.

Get all the birds in condition ahead of time when planning to cross breed the canary and the finch. Keep the birds in separate cages as they eat different types of seed. The canary can easily be conditioned with the proper diet and 12 hours of daylight. The finch, on the other hand, needs 14 to 16 hours of daylight and a special diet of greens, boiled eggs and soaked/sprouted seeds.

Use a double breeder cage to keep the pair in sight of each other until ready to breed. The female canary may initially reject the male finch.

Provide a canary nesting area and material for the female to build her nest when she is ready. Have a strong singing male canary nearby in his own separate cage but out of sight until the female starts building her nest. This is a sign that she is ready to mate.

Introduce the singing male into sight of the female canary. Re-introduce the finch into the cage with the female canary so that she can initiate the mating ritual.

Leave the area, at least from sight of the finch, as they can be shy birds when it comes to mating. They will not do so while being watched. You can view them inconspicuously to be sure they have mated successfully.

Remove the finch from the nesting area once mating is complete, as it tends to peck at the eggs. Hybrid mules will hatch in about two weeks, are ready to leave the nest within 16 to 19 days and are self-sufficient in about 30 days.


During breeding season, usually around February, the birds may breed up to three times. Be sure to have a good high-protein diet for the birds. When the eggs begin hatching, place some nestling food in the cage near the nest. The hatchlings will begin eating on their own almost immediately and grow rapidly. Once they have left the nest completely, train the hatchlings, via tapes, to be able to sing various wild finch notes and special strong trills, which is most often the reasoning for crossing these two bird species.


After breeding season, keep the birds separate until next year's breeding season.

Things You'll Need

  • Food
  • Female canary
  • Male finch
  • Breeder cage
  • Nesting
  • Male canary
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