First published in the American Singers Club newsletter, October1999.
As your young American Singer Canaries are beginning to sing it isa good time to start analyzing their songs. I make a chart with thetop row listing songs traits that I am looking for with the youngmale's band numbers on the column side (you can also add your oldermales). The songs traits I lists are Rolls, Water, Hard Water, Bell,Shockel, Flute, Descending notes, Ascending notes, Cardinal, Doodle,Weep-Weep, Other notes. Under each song trait I note things such ashigh range, very long, too short, tone, etc. I leave it blank if thetrait does not exist. I also add a Description column to commentabout how the bird puts the song together, its volume, bad notes,showmanship, cutting off, holding etc. A general rule for listeningfor a good song is to look at each bird as if it is singing a songsimilar too a well liked song from the radio. It doesn't matter ifit is Pop or Classic, it usually has a good beginning, middle andend. As well as a good pattern of notes (catchy tune), a variety ofnotes, notes that flows logically into the next, and doesn't soundoff key.
By making yourself analyze your American Singer's song traits itwill help you to be realistic and to understand their good and badcharacteristics. After you understand what each bird can do, you canlook back at your breeding records and see if the results are whatyou expected. Did the male's father carry similar song traits? Didthe mother's father have similar song traits? If the male was animprovement over his father, you can have a good bet that the motherhad some positive influence and that you should note that for nextyear's breeding season and her daughters are good bets too. Even ifthe male was not as good as his father you can understand themother's background better. A female that produced a male with a badtrait does not mean that you should discard her. You can use herwith a different male next time with better results. I hope to writean article on this later.
Another advantage of analyzing your birds is that it will help youevaluate your birds better in competition. In away you are trainingyourself to be a judge. By doing this you are able to listen toother people's birds and understand the good and bad traits. Ofcourse this is based on your opinion of what you want in an AmericanSinger Canary. As we all know each Judge is different on what theyview as a top bird. Just as we all have different tastes in music.So understand the song traits you like so you can maintain them oradd to them. Don't be swayed too much by the judges because each yeara new set of judges appears with different opinions.
Understanding your bird's song is the most important step towardhaving a good breeding program. You will able to track the dominantand recessive genetic song traits of each bird and make smarterchoices to maximize your results. Dominant traits are traits fromthe father that always show up in his offspring. Recessive traits aretraits from the father that sometimes do not show up in hisoffspring. If the traits vary from bird to bird it probably wascaused by several genetic influences. You are the artist and it isup to you to understand the colors (traits) and how they mix tocreate your ideal American Singer.
Copyright © 1999 Bryan Chin. All rights reserved.
Return to PAS Articles Index