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I wanted to record some canary songs. I housed a pair of domestic canaries to a sound shielded box in Spring, but they did not sing there at all.

The male was a good singer in the grouped bird cage. They seemed to be habituated to their environment, with many calls and the female starting to build a nest when nesting materials is supplied. I thought about leaving the male alone in the box, but from an animal welfare point of view, I could not do that.

Do you have any idea to motivate the birds in sound shielded boxes to sing ?

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You could try playing back some sounds to the bird (some canary breeders play the radio to their birds to stimulate them to sing). Presumably, the unusual quietness in the boxes is odd for the birds and providing some auditory stimulation might help them to settle in. I would think that conspecific song is probably a very good trigger to induce singing.

A very detailed review on the responses of songbirds to conspecific song can be found in Catchpole & Slater (2008) Bird Song, Biological Themes and Variations. Cambridge University Press

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  • Can you provide any useful links or references to help back up your (very interesting!) answer?
    – Shannon
    Jul 7 at 14:05
  • A very detailed review on the responses of songbirds to conspecific song can be found in Catchpole & Slater (2008) Bird Song, Biological Themes and Variations. Cambridge University Press. Jul 9 at 14:51
  • Thanks! I edited your post to include that reference. See here for more info on answering questions: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7656/…
    – Shannon
    Jul 9 at 15:19
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Testosterone helps I got to know from collaborators. Birds alone in a box is hard for them. They sometimes recover singing after a few days. Playbacks, or even a picture of a companion can help. But alternative methods like on animal sensors or acoustic cameras could be used to record a single animal in a social setting, improving animals welfare.

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