The canary is very prolific, producing eggs, not exceeding six in number, three or four times a year; and in a state of nature it is said to breed still oftener. The work of building the nest, and of incubation, falls chiefly on the female, while the duty of feeding the young rests mainly on the cock bird.
The natural song of the canary is loud and clear; and in their native groves the males, especially during the pairing season, pour forth their song with such ardour as sometimes to burst the delicate vessels of the throat.
The males appear to compete with each other in the brilliancy of their melody, in order to attract the females, which , according to the German naturalist Johann Matthaus Bechstein (1757-1822) always select the best singers for their mates. The canary readily imitates the notes of other birds, and in Germany and especially Tiral, where the breeding of canaries gives employment to the large number of people, they are usually placed for this purpose beside the nightingale.