Monday, April 13, 2009
I have two finches, Bill and Ted. Bill is a Zebra Finch, like the one pictured in the lower picture, and Ted is a Society Finch, like the one pictured in the upper picture.
But I digress...
A few months back, I had two Zebra Finches, named Bill and Phil. I had had them both since they were young fledglings, but for some reason or another, Phil would always end up in precarious situations. Having escaped and survived the clutches of my cat, Patches, I nursed him back to health, whereupon, months later, he got stuck in his finch nest, and was hanging upside down by one foot, for Lord knows how long before I got home from work before I could delicately rescue him. Although he recovered from that episode, he was stricken with a deformed foot that was permanently turned inward.
But alas, the trials and tribulations for Phil would not end there. One day, while observing Bill and Phil in their cage while working in my office, I noticed that part of Phil's one wing was missing, and I have no clue how that happened, for when I leave the office, even momentarily, I do a 'cat check' before I close the door, because my two 'boys' are quick on their feet.
About nine months ago, I noticed that Phil was having a difficult time reaching the seed cup and the water cup, and most of the time was spent on the bottom of the cage, so I purchased new water and seed cups that sat on the bottom of the cage, so he could reach them, and placed a perch lower so he could at least perch during the day and night, and he seemed to be doing well until I came back from my travels in February, whereupon my friend who was watching the house informed me he had died. She was, of course, saddened, because she felt somehow that it was her fault since he died the day I got back home. I of course told her that it was not her fault, and not to worry about it.
Needless to say, I debated on getting another bird, not because of Bill, Phil's brother, but because I didn't really know if I wanted to maintain two birds, two cats, and a 25 gallon fish tank. But after thinking about it, and reading up more on finches, they are social birds that need at least another companion, so I went and purchased Ted, which although in the same family of finches, is a different breed.
And their antics and personalities are simply a delight to watch, as they are so different. Bill has a chirp...chatter...chirp...chatter style of singing and talking, whereas Ted has more of a chatter...chirp...chatter...chirp style of singing and talking, vastly different from Bill's. Also, their style of bathing is different. Bill will immerse himself in the water bowl, flutter his wings, and splash water all over the cage, while Ted will sit on the edge of the water bowl, dip his tail feathers in the water, shake it and flutter his wings at the same time, or he will sit on the perch and wait while Bill is giving himself a bath, and use the water splashing about to give himself a bath.
Although I have raised many birds in the past (chickens, pigeons, doves), the contrast between the personalities of these two is more striking then I could ever have imagined.