March 1 2:32 pm
A long delay, but I finally have my new computer and all of my bookmarks back up and running!
It’s been a fairly normal winter as far as the finches are concerned. I have spent a lot of time recording the firefinches and finally have some good clips to sort through and edit before I can upload them to their page. I haven’t been able to find much information on them, but they are delightful little birds. I don’t think the pair I have want to be a pair though. They get along well enough but spend a lot of time ignoring each other. Or I should say the female is NOT impressed. The male is an absolute acrobat. I cannot believe the wide range of noises that he makes. He is the one that interacts the most, often calling back to me if I whistle. They are both very calm (for finches) and curious. I set my cell phone on top of their cage and the male immediately went to the top branch and turned his head sideways to see what it was. He finds feathers or strings and dances for the female while singing. She flies away as soon as he comes near. They do cuddle up together when they are sleeping a lot of the time though. Who knows, maybe one day she will come around. I finally have them eating their egg food at least!
On the 11th my last remaining gouldian hen died suddenly. Old age I would imagine. She was a good finch. I was surprised though because my last remaining gouldian male is the one I am expecting to lose next. He is still blind and starting to get a little thinner now. He still gets around the cage ok for the most part but is now starting to sit on the floor instead of wasting energy trying to find the perches again until he gets hungry or thirsty. If I see him, I usually just reach in and set him back on his favorite perch. I’ve done it so often now that he doesn’t even get as disorientated and instead goes straight over to his bowl and sits on the edge of it. He seems to get his bearings from that bowl and then he is ok. I actually put my “mean” CFW zebra male in with him. Amazingly they get along great. I can’t put the CFW in with any other bird even though I don’t have any more females in sight. He goes on the attack instantly. They don’t cuddle together like the female did that was in with him before, but often sit by each other. Every now and then the zebra sings to him in dominance and the gouldian just holds his ground and pecks at him. I don’t know if he would act the same if he could see but the zebra isn’t used to that reaction so he backs off.
Charlie 2 is back in the owl flight with mixed results…
I had a bowl in there up high for him to sleep in since he has a little trouble perching with one leg. Then they thought they should all fight over it, so I tried adding another one. This worked great for a while. I had one pair in each bowl. Then they decided that they were nests. This created a round of fighting and territorial behavior that is every bit as aggravating as zebra finches. Charlie 2 is now at the bottom of the pecking order and sometimes the other male will bother him, but those females were every bit as aggressive. Or sometimes it would be pair against pair. More like 2 against 1 since Charlie isn’t having any part of it. Pipsqueak got an open wound on her face. I took the bowls out. Then they decided that they platform would become their new nest area and they fought over that instead. So I took that out too. Now they are all calmed down and not fighting as badly although they still chase each other every now and then. Usually they are just performing flight patterns. Charlie is doing ok at night without his bowl.
Grassy still does not think that the CFW zebra or owls should be allowed to talk. He is in the other room and makes his cranky chatter when he hears them. Talk about holding a grudge! He doesn’t respond the same way if Chopper talks and I’m not quite sure why he expanded his disgust to the owls because he has never even seen them. I guess their voices remind him of the zebra.
Chopper and Maynard are still best buds. 2010 makes Maynards 11th year! I love that little bird. He is still hanging in there but has slowed down a lot. I’ve had to convert his cage into a handicap cage. He doesn’t fly anymore and falls when he tries. I put foam under his paper so he has a crash pad and arranged the perches so that he can get around. His worst time was at night. He’d fall over and over, so I created a sleeping area for him out of a rice krispie treat box. He loves it! Now he spends a lot of time in there just looking out. Chopper thinks it’s a pretty great thing too. He wants it to have bedding though so I gave him some Kleenex so he would stop ripping holes in the paper at the bottom of the cage.
All of the other birds are ok too. Bali is doing just fine on his own. The birds in the double flight are all peaceful. One of the society hens has over preened her friend so she is a bit bald. Weird that only the fawn hens have done this out of all of them I have owned.