I have been educating Spanish timbrado canaries by only using electronic means for some years and I must say that I’m quite satisfied with the results, to the point that I will never do it in a different way. I do believe there are several key aspects that experience has taught me and I would like to share them:
1.-Selection: only use individuals which genetic capacity allows them to learn by thee means. Even though it is true that most canaries have the capacity to learn by listening, there are some that have been selected by its ability to learn and those are the ones we need to focus on.
2.-Consistency: by leveraging on the previous aspect of selection, it´s critical that most birds from our stock possess the characteristics on which our selection is based, in our case and because we are focused on teaching by electronic means, most of our stock must be able to learn in such way. A typical example is the fancier that has a stock with a certain quality, let’s say, Spanish timbrado canaries with a classical repertoire. And he/she decides to introduce one or two couples with other characteristics, he/she will produce a minor effect over the descendants of such birds but it will quickly dilute because always the majority drags the minority, in this case our brand new couples, therefore, my recommendation is that is better to breed with birds that possess the characteristics we’d like to fix even though it implies to breed with a lesser number of birds.
3.-Audio Quality: this is also a critical and fundamental aspect, what the canaries listen to will become its primary guidance, therefore the material must be free of noise, hiss and distortion, by the same token, connections between notes must be carefully reviewed avoiding any alteration in the note continuity no matter how minor it is. Also, the audio must have the same volume all along; this is easily carried out by using the Normalize function, which is available in most audio editing software.
4.-Acustic Isolation: the Young canaries must be isolated from parents or other adult canaries physically, acoustically or preferably in both ways. If young birds listen to adults, they will always copy from them instead of the audio because it is much easier for them, and for the same reason I do not advise to use mixed methods for educating canaries (professor-audio).
4.-Repertoire: as indicated before, what the canary listens to becomes its primary guidance, therefore the repertoire must be of our taste and the notes used must be of a the right complexity for our birds to learn and to execute them.
I hope these few lines will contribute in some of you getting better results.