A Very Great Loss @ TWFA


My little man, I will miss you so very dearly.

It’s with a very heavy heart that I must inform all of our dear fans & followers that our Miles the 1 year old hand tame Phaeo suddenly passed away while I was on vacation visiting home. He showed no signs of illness, no signs of injury or even discomfort. He had a very clean vent and a crop that was still half full when he left us. Because of his passing I decided to come home a week early and make sure the rest of the flock is alright. My fiance has been doing an incredible job at caring for all of them while I’m gone, sending photo updates and using video chat to let me check the bird room daily. I know that Miles’ death has nothing to do with his care, as he has cared for him many times before and is well versed at it. He helped me raise Miles whenever I’ve been gone or ill, and he was very close to him. He has been hit with this just as hard as I have, bless his heart. He has a very “tough guy” type of personality but when he called me to let me know what happened he was sobbing.

We had planned to get a necropsy done, but my fiance unknowingly froze him while I traveled home. Freezing causes the cells to burst and nullifies any chance at a necropsy. I hadn’t even thought to warn him not to before I left for the airport.

Please understand that this is incredibly hard for me and I may take longer to respond both here & on FB than usual, he was my little man and best friend. He’d been through so much in his short life, which is why I named him Miles in the first place. Even as a little fledgling he had “been through miles.” I hadn’t even gotten the chance to film him with my new camera, and all of my previous videos of him are lost on my old phone forever after it broke. I do have a little footage of him on my Youtube Channel, but I couldn’t bear to look at that right now with this gaping whole in my heart.


Miles & his partner in crime aptly named MiniMiles for his carbon copy loving personality. They were one of a kind.

On a completely unrelated note, the hand-raised and very hand-tame juvenile Penguin male I had brought with me to deliver to his new momma on my trip also passed away during my time in Georgia. He suffered a respiratory infection for less than a day, and became sick almost a week after we had arrived. His carrier remained covered at night and the temperature never dropped below a steady 76 degrees Fahrenheit so it was surprising when he became ill. In less than a day in spite of being treated with the medicine I brought (Amoxitex, NV Powder & Megamix) and instructions from our avian vet, he passed away at about 3 am in my hands. I know I’ve said it before but helplessly watching your baby bird that you’ve raised since birth for months – in this case 6+ months – die without being able to stop it is a fate that I hope no one ever has to endure.

His passing is a huge red flag regarding the transition of my offspring from a Winter/Spring environment and a room temperature of about 78 with a heater running to a Summer environment with AC. This is going to be something I heavily research for the future. It would have broken my heart if I had delivered him to his death due to the change in his indoor environment, and I will make certain I know how to prevent it from happening in the future. At this point it’s still unknown what brought this on so suddenly.

I hope these two situations can serve as a big reminder to everyone that even if you do everything by the book exactly how you’re supposed to, things can still go wrong. Even if you spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month on your small flock, even if you have an avian vet coaching you along the way, things can still go wrong. All you can do at that point is to focus on the rest of your flock who still depends on your daily care.

I know that so many of our fans, followers and previous visitors really bonded with Miles and this will be very sad news for all. He took to a few favorite people as if they were his own, and always put a smile on the face of our visitors. His ability to love wholeheartedly brought some to tears which I will never forget. He lived his life to please his people, for kisses and all of the other treats he could enjoy. MiniMiles, his little partner in crome, was a carbon copy in personality which makes their loss doubly hard for us all. I know some people see this kind of loss and think, “Why would you ever grow close to someone or some animal if it would leave so much pain behind when they leave?” But I would trade all of the pain in the world for even five more minutes with either of them. Our lives are so much richer just for having had them in it.


  1. We’re so sorry to hear Chelsea, this is not good news. 😦

    We know you provide the absolute best possible environment for the birds. It’s sad to hear about Miles, we are sending happy thoughts your way. We hope you and the rest of the “family” are all well. 🙂

    • Thanks so much Rob & Ondine – that really means a lot to hear! Everyone else is doing really well at the moment, thanks again for asking. I’ll be taking more photos & posting updates of the newest offspring as soon as I can catch them all on camera. In the other aviary, the Gouldians will be getting their new nesting boxes soon. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Slowly Moving Forward ~ New Offspring & Aviary Updates | The White Finch Aviary

  3. Pingback: 2 Conferences & a Move, Oh My! | The White Finch Aviary

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