Did you hear about the weekend “canary fighting ring” bust? There were 19 arrests and 150 canaries and saffron finches confiscated. The local paper contacted us for quotes, and I think what Bird Talk’s Finch & Canary columnist, Karl Lieberman had to say was very informative.
The canary fight club was run much like cock fighting ring; birds were matched up against each other and bets were placed. Cock fighting usually elicits an outrage response; however, the canaries seem to elicit a bit of snickering. I imagine it’s because most people think of canaries as “their grandmother’s bird” whistling away in its cage, not males battling it out over a female.
I was surprised to hear about canary fight club, but not completely shocked. Whenever BIRD TALK magazine’s finch and canary expert talks about creating an aviary, there’s always a word of caution about housing certain canary and finch species together because some can be quite aggressive, especially during breeding season. It’s sad to hear about people taking advantage of the canary’s natural instincts for gambling and entertainment. And if the birds were being hurt, I hope people are as sympathetic to the canaries as they are to dogs and roosters used in dog and cock fighting.