Canary Plays Dead At Vet’s

Scared canary plays dead at a vet’s to avoid being eaten.

The play-dead stunt is reportedly instinctive and is believed to stem from the fact that the attack instinct of some predators is triggered by movement, so by playing dead, they avoid being hunted.

The incident involving this bird took place at the Hospivet Veterinarian clinic, in the Kadikoy neighbourhood of Turkey’s largest city Istanbul.


The video shows the yellow canary on its back in the palm of the vet’s hand and not moving at all as it pretends to be dead.

In the footage, the vet, who has not been named, can be heard saying: “As you can see, canaries always behave like this during the examination.

“They are pretending to be dead. This is a defence mechanism against predators.”

He then adds: “You opened that eye. I saw it from here. Are you fooling me, you clever thing?

“I am not a predator. I’ll kiss you, maybe I’ll squeeze and squash you a little, but I will not eat you.”

Referencing his favourite football team, Fenerbahce, who are nicknamed Sari Kanaryalar, which is Turkish for ‘Yellow Canaries’, he says: “Especially as a Fenerbahce fan, I would never harm yellow canaries.”

He then gives the bird a kiss and as it begins to flap its wings, he says: “Oh, good morning, yes, what happened? Your little game didn’t work, did it?

“They just pretend to be dead.

“I was terrified when I first came across that. ‘Oh no!’ I said, ‘What happened to the bird?’

“I had a professor there. ‘Hold on,’ he said, ‘he’s playing dead, don’t worry.'”

After the footage made the rounds on social media, many netizens commented, with ‘edmrrx’ joking: “That’s Fenerbahce players when they can’t be the champions again.”

And ‘osmnasl_n’ quipped: “I guess my late bird was not dead.”

While ‘zelinturan’ said: “Oh sh*t! I buried mine!”

A canary pretends to be dead during a veterinarian examination in Kadikoy, Istanbul, Turkey, undated video. Canaries are known to instinctively behave that way when held. (@mahmutbaransahin/CEN)

And ‘Omer3254faruk’ added: “That’s Fenerbahce players when they play against Galatasaray players.”

Another netizen going by ‘burculuss’ said: “I’m starting to feel anxious now. How will I know if my canary was really dead or was just playing dead!?”

The domestic Canary (Serinus canaria forma domestica) is sometimes known to play dead even when being released, with it not unusual for them to lie at the bottom of their cage for several minutes, playing dead to make sure that the coast is clear.

The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.


We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Signup to our Newsletter