National Capital Region Aviaries

NCR Aviaries

Coloured Canaries
Red Factor

Singing Canaries
American Singers


Type Canaries

Green Singing Finches

Gray Singing Finches
Society Finches
Blue Headed Finches Red Headed Finches Gold Finches
Zebra Finches

Origins of Canaries
Caring for Canaries
Comparison of Songs

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Ottawa, Canada



Other Common Names:  Waterslager Canary, Water Singer, Belgian Waterslager Song Canary, Malinois Canary, Waterslager Song Canary

The beautiful song of the Waterslager Canary has captivated the ears of people for centuries. It is no surprise this Canary remains a favourite of numerous fanciers around the world.

If you are looking for a charming companion with a beautiful song the Waterslager could prove to be the perfect Canary for you. Their song is unique and must be composed of 'water notes' (notes that sound like water) to be recognized as a true Waterslager. Many hold that the song of the Waterslager is more varied, rich and uses a wider range than the songs of other canary breeds. Fanciers of the Waterslager define their songs (tours) by the sounds they make. The songs of the Waterslager can be rated and judged as well. The sounds that comprise these songs are often named by their sounds. For example a single water note is called a 'klok'. The word 'klok' is reminiscent of the sound water makes when it falls from the sky into a pool of water. Entire articles have been written on this subject alone.

The Waterslager's was only seen in yellow until sometime within the last 20 years white varieties began to appear. Many organizations still do not accept white. The standard Waterslager reaches approximately six and a half inches at maturity, though show standards will not reject slightly larger or smaller Waterslagers if they still produce the proper notes and tours of the Waterslagers' water songs. The expressive eyes of the Waterslager are shiny black and quite pronounced. Their beaks have a stronger pinch and are thicker and larger than other breeds. While the Waterslager is not a crested canary their feathers do have a slight rise at the top of the head. When they become excited these feathers often resemble that of a Cardinal's crest. The overall plumage can range from a very rich yellow to a pale soft yellow. Dark ticking is common and is usually accepted as long as it does not cover over a quarter of his plumage. No other colouring is accepted in the Waterslager. If coloration such as red factor appears it indicates out crossing with colour canary breeds which is not acceptable. It should be noted that the ticking seen in some Waterslagers is not due to the presence of melanin as is the case with variegated varieties.

Originating in Belgium, the Waterslager has been a favourite among fanciers all over the world for hundreds of years. One of the earlier written records documenting the existence of the Waterslager dates back to 1713. The Waterslager has been incredibly popular throughout the world throughout its existence. Surprisingly it has not been as popular in the United States or Canada. In the rest of the world, however, it is often ranked as the most popular of the three song canaries recognized by the COM (Confederation Ornithologique Mondiale). It should be noted that the popularity of the Waterslager Canary is rising in North America. The name 'Malinois Canary' comes from the French name of the town where breeders worked hard to propagate this breed, Malinois Belgium (English: Mechelen Belgium).

Besides a good mixed seed diet or pellets, all canaries need fresh vegetables to eat. Also a bit of fruit once in a while.

If out of season molting occurs this is typically due to too much time in daylight in conjunction with constant temperatures over 75 degrees Fahrenheit.