Even though canaries primarily eat a seed-based diet, a pet canary should also get a little fruit. A generic bag of finch or canary seed alone will not give it enough nutrition. A limited diet that does not include fruits along with leafy greens will often lead to health problems.
Canaries can eat most any type of fruit including, but not limited to, apples, oranges, grapes, tomatoes, pears, pineapple, berries, plums, peaches, peppers, mango and papaya. However, fruit should make up less than 20 per cent of the bird's total diet. According to the website canaryadvisor, apple seeds are an exception. Apple seeds are toxic to canaries.
Whole or Chopped Fruits
Presentation of that fruit may make the difference in what the canary chooses to eat. Although many canaries may relish bite size pieces of fruit, chopping the fruit is not a necessity. It will eat apples cut into quarters, grapes cut in half, or whole tomatoes. The chopped fruits should be placed in a bowl or hanging basket. Whole or large pieces of fruit can be placed on the bottom of the cage, on a plate, or hung from a fruit skewer made for birds and bird cages.
Canaries will often eat mashed fruit if they are reluctant to try pieces of fruit. Blend any mixture of fruits into a smoothie and put it in the food bowl. Baby food fruit mixes are best put into a bird food bowl or mixed with finch pellets.
Leftover fruit from a morning feeding should be removed by the evening. In addition, the bowls and any other feeding devices must be cleaned with dish soap and water daily. This will prevent bacteria and yeast growth that can harm the birds. Fruit will change the colour of a bird's droppings temporarily. If the bird has bright red droppings, it may be due to its eating red fruits like strawberries.
- "The Canary Handbook"; Mathew M. Vriends, Ph.D. and Tanya M. Heming-Vriends; 2001
- "The Finch Handbook"; Christa Koepff and April Romagnano, Ph.D., DVM; 2001