Author Archives for Chelsea @ TWFA

About Chelsea @ TWFA

TWFA was established in 2008 in order to provide the public with healthy & happy finch pets. Since it's opening, hundreds of quality pairs have been raised & adopted out. Visit the aviary's website for pictures, pricing, products, care & contact information as well as aviary updates.

We are moving! ~ Aviary Updates

Juveniles

Aviary offspring before they went off to their new homes ~ from left to right: 3 YB CFWs, 1 CFW & 2 Phaeo males. (TWFA 2014)

Yes, we’re moving again! I’ve honestly lost count how many times I’ve moved around in the past 5 years, especially before I met my fiance. I’ve been somewhat of a vagabond since my teenage years, intent to see new places and live through new experiences as young people in their 20’s often do. I’ve definitely lived life to the fullest & have been incredibly lucky to have had so many opportunities (not any that were just given to me, but that I had the chance to work hard for) not to mention the amazing friendships forged along the way.

Since I’ve started working with my current breeding pairs a couple of years ago, we’ve moved once from an apartment to a house this past Fall. It was an upgrade in space for the flock, from a small bird room to a medium size. It was also hilarious to see the juveniles in the aviary of the new house across the wall from their parents, too far to even notice them! This was also a huge plus for our free-flying tame pairs, with Manzanita branches installed all over the room as if it’s a giant Finch cage.

Beautiful furniture pieces by Kacey @ My Sister’s Stuff in Gig Harbor, Wa. I’ve finally finished decorating the place, great time to move! 🙂

Our main reason for moving is a landlord who is not very bird-friendly, or any kind of friendly at all for that matter. While confusing the Repti-Glo lights which were stored in a closet for “marijuana grow lights” during a recent voluntary inspection, he voiced a desire to end my lease so it’s important to me to get out of a potentially bad situation ASAP (we live in a legalized state). It’s a shame but as I’ve heard from other Finch owners it’s not uncommon! Though I’ve paid a deposit to keep my finches & they’re always on my lease, that doesn’t mean my landlord is finch-friendly unfortunately. That’s definitely something I’ll be checking out in our next house; a bird-educated landlord. I could stay in this house & fight this situation but to be perfectly safe for the flock’s sake, I think it’s best to move on to a more friendly tenant environment. I know many large bird and small bird owners alike have had to deal with this situation before me, it seems to be a recurring issue in the aviculture community but luckily a waning one.

In the end we lucked out with the timing of this next move, so many options to choose from in our price range on the market at the moment. We’re upgrading from a 2 bedroom to a 3 or 4 bedroom which will be exciting! I just finally finished decorating the rooms in this house, we officially have more people furniture than bird furniture. I’m pretty proud of the results! Continue reading

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Shipping Begins Monday the 23rd

Anyone who has been waiting for our shipping weather to come around, it’s here! Right as I left for vacation it started warming up and right when I returned home it became chilly again, figures! After this week of 50s and rainy, Monday the 23rd will be 70+ and clear as Summer should be.

This means that I’ll be shipping Monday the 23rd, so expect some TWFA offspring at your door next week if you’ve been waiting for them. It’ll be very bittersweet to have an empty aviary again, just when I was starting to enjoy actually having a selection for visitors for once. Yes, I’m emptying the aviary again and sending all of my juveniles to their new homes! We are very blessed to have a constant supply of adopters who keep that aviary empty most of the time.

After a brief resting period of about 2 weeks which has already begun for some pairs, they’ll be back to breeding their 2nd clutches of the season. I’ve decided on a nest type for the Gouldian flock, which they will be introduced to within the next couple of weeks. I decided on the model from LG with the front porch and divided nest box. It’s the most spacious and private, though hanging them on the outside of the aviary will definitely be difficult!

Slowly Moving Forward ~ New Offspring & Aviary Updates

It’s been a rough few weeks here to be very honest! Living with the loss of our sweet Miles & his shadow Mini-Miles has been much tougher on us people than the flock thankfully, especially since that’s not always the case. Miles’ mate Sweetart, his previous non-breeding mate (& sister) Fleur, as well as his “brother” Dopey have mourned his passing. Not many people expect Finches to mourn or have the capacity to feel loss, but they most certainly do. They will call out for them loudly, look high and low for their missing companion, and mope around in a sad funk. The best way to help them through it quickly is to spend time socializing with and sweet talking them as you usually would. It’s okay to let them see your sadness also, they will understand. Our Fleur has been very sweet to me every time I’m in the bird room, perching on my hand or shoulder and letting me get kisses and cuddles in. She definitely knew I needed cheering up and I wouldn’t have made it so far without her!

Getting back to calls & emails
I’ve been a little inundated since leaving for and returning from vacation! But I’m slowly making my way through all of your calls and emails as well as requests for adopting current offspring. We have plenty to choose from at the moment and some who will be shipped to their new homes shortly.

My first issue as NFSS Editor
As I mentioned in my last update, I’ve been burying myself in work since I returned home which has paid off immensely. I completed my first issue as the NFSS Editor of their bi-monthly publication which has taken most of my time since returning home. The entire magazine needed new fonts and spacer images which was a lot of fun to experiment with. I got to decide the entire issue’s style from this point on! Pretty neat project and took a lot of refreshing in layout & design. I’m looking forward to experimenting more design techniques in the future. Continue reading

A Very Great Loss @ TWFA

miles1

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

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. Continue reading

Shipping Weather Is Here! & Aviary Update

A photo of my home state, GA. (TWFA 2014)

A photo from my home state, GA. (TWFA 2014)

Let the shipping begin! 
As some of you wonderful people waiting for a shipment of Finches from TWFA already know, it’s been unreliably warm and cold at different intervals here in Western Washington state during the start of this Spring season!

Thankfully we now are steadily getting into the warm weather with an overnight temperature that is safe for Finches to travel. I’ve been more lax with shipping temperatures in the past, but after hearing horror stories from friends this past year I’ve made the requirements more strict for the safety of my offspring. For more details on my weather requirements for shipping, click here.

Next week will be the first Monday with both a nice and warm (but not too warm) day temp and a safe low at night. I’ll also be leaving at the end of this week for a visit to my home state of Georgia for a couple weeks. When I return towards the end of the month I’ll be sending out offspring for shipment. I can’t wait for everyone to receive their new TWFA Finches!

rh pb female2

One of my RH females finishing up her molt & enjoying one of the many Gouldian Aviary’s privacy perches. (TWFA 2014)

Gouldian Update
Many of my beautiful Rainbows are finishing up their annual molt and look stunning! There are a couple of YH female stragglers who are just now gaining pins and losing patches. My BH male and a RH female are also mid-molt at the moment.

The Dr. Marshall system has improved their coloring in a short time, corrected any stuck issues, and gives the new feathers a beautiful, vibrant luster. I’m so happy I already had it on hand! I can’t imagine life without it, surely it would be much more difficult. Continue reading

A Bevy of Beauties ~ Aviary Offspring Photos

Here are photos of my current aviary offspring, they are all such a diverse range of cuties with outgoing personalities. All pictured Finches are available for adoption now but may not be for long!

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aviary group
very black
 yb female
yb cfw female split to penguin male

Continue reading

“Those Finches with Rainbow Colors”

rh male

RH GB male being his goofy self for the camera. (Photo by Randy Hume | TWFA 2014)

The Gouldain Finch flock is doing well in their aviary and have begun to really settle in. They use literally every perch I gave them & are constantly flying around getting exercise. It’s so amusing to see them on the bottom, lower, middle, and upper areas of their large aviary all at once. The constant melodious signing is so beautiful and peaceful to listen to, I find myself watching them for hours at a time!

What kind of mutations do you have?
Well, you know me! I love to “catch ’em all,” and I very nearly do have every Zebra mutation. When acquiring these Gouldians I applied the same philosophy. In this new flock of rainbows I have Red Headed (RH), Yellow or “Orange” or “Tangerine” Headed (YH), Black Headed (BH), Purple Breasted (PB), White Breasted (WB), Yellow Backed (YB), Green Backed (GB), and a single Pastel male. The only color mutations I don’t have right now are the Blue Back (BB) & Silver Back (SB) types. There are ways for specific types of GB & YB to produce BB which I may get into later. Continue reading

Photo Shoot with Local Nature Photographer~

bc male adult2Sorry for the multiple posts in just a couple of days but a lot is happening @ TWFA this week! I promise this is the last for a while. 🙂

We finally scheduled an aviary photo shoot & I just got the results back. It was incredibly successful and I’m honored to have had Mr. Randy Hume, nature photographer, taking pictures of the aviary. He had plenty of subjects, from the hand-tame free flyers like Miles to the tiny babies whom I was raising by hand. He also had the chance to photograph breeding pairs in their natural environments. There are plenty of Miles candids and even a great action shot of Lilac taking a bath. What a wonderful gift to us! It’s always touching to see works of art with your pets as the subject, and each of these photos has certainly done my flock justice and then some. I’m so happy to have these pictures of them!! Take a look for yourself~

alexxia ares alecsander bh gb male
calypso Canary copy
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Happy Easter Everyone!!~

IMG_20140420_112552-picsay Happy Easter Everyone! I hope y’all enjoy your Sunday time with your flocks &family. Everyone celebrates Christmas, Vday and Thanksgiving but we like to make a big deal out of Easter at my house also. It’s a holiday full of fun things to do and happiness from all people you come across regardless of religious preference.

Under the bunny ears and decorated eggs in this photo you can see the 3 hand-raised hatchlings I’ve been caring for. They’re very fuzzy now and make the perfect Easter subjects. Soon they’ll be going to their new homes locally & living the spoiled life.

May all your egg hunts be successful today!~

2014 Waiting List & My Pairs Page

The 2014 waiting list is up! Many are already scheduled to pick up their offspring while others wait for their pairs to be bred. If anyone wants to be added to the list for Gouldians now would be a great time to get in at the top. They will be breeding mid to late this season once they’ve settled in & finished quarantine.

I also updated the My Finches page with current photos of each of my pairs who are breeding at the moment. I also have pairs who are of course non-breeding as well for various reasons and won’t be featured on that page until they’re paired with a compatible mate. This means they need a little space for the moment as they meet each other & see if it’s a good fit.

As always, thanks so much for following, visiting & sharing! 🙂 Look for a Gouldian update with detailed plans, photos & videos soon. Some were triggered into their annual molt & we want them to look their best for the camera.

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