Eggs in every nest

Draven & Dhalia’s

With all babies out of the cages, the Finches are back in the swing of breeding season, with 3 eggs in the Black-Cheeked Zebras’ nest [Draven & Dhalia], 4 in the Continental Chestnut-Flanked White Zebras’ [Al & Aphrodite], and 1 so far in the Regular Chestnut-Flanked White Zebras’ [Oedipus & Ophelia].

They’ve blown through an entire 5lb bag of coconut fibers in two months as you can see. Their nests came out fantastic, yes? 🙂 My favorite part is their little entrance tunnels.

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New baby in the nest!

It’s been a little less than a week, but there’s a new baby Chestnut-Flanked White Zebra Finch that is thriving, growing so much each day, and seems to be very healthy in the nest! Al & Aphrodite have been taking great care of it. I wanted to wait to see how things went before I posted the news, and so far it’s been great.

I’ll be posting photos soon.

New nests, new clutches!

After a week or so of the nest boxes being used, for some reason my finicky finches decided that they weren’t too fond of them any more.

So I tried removing them and placing in Canary nests just inches from the top of the cage with flowers on either side to give them privacy, and now every nest has eggs.

The baby is, I think, a hen. She moved over to the White Zebras’ cage a on her own [during a CFW free-fly day] and hasn’t moved. I added a nest for her, and she loves it. If everyone continues to seem happy with this I’ll just leave her in the new cage until after her first molt. I think in a while after I pair her up with it will be interesting to see what her clutches will look like. I haven’t decided on a name for her yet but I have fallen for her so much she’s staying with me forever 🙂

I operate on a first come, first serve basis so make sure to contact me asap to reserve a pair. These next clutches already have people waiting for them to hatch and wean so they can adopt.

For anyone who has ever tried to get their birds to use a nest box…

Can’t get your birds to use the nest box? Do they sit on top of it, or even build a nest on top of it?

Well I’ve found a solution!

When we last left the aviary, only Al & Aphrodite were nestbox-savy. Well I got very tired of it and decided to try to come up with a solution instead of waiting for everyone to figure it out. I researched it for hours on the net, and nothing. Apparently no one had a solution other than time.

Malarkey.

I opened the top of the nesting boxes that weren’t being used, put down some of each nesting material, and voila! Draven & Dhalia started building a nest in a box.

BUT Oedipus & Ophelia…still don’t get it. Nope, they now perch on the new vacation feeder from LGF.

Which brings me to my next point…

From LGF

This feeder thing, is amazing.

It catches the husks – no mess!

I’m in love.

And I use the little finger trays for everything else: f-vite, herb salad, tonic seed, powdered kelp…it’s freakin awesome.

I’m getting two more for the tonic seed. Oh yes.

Wish they had one for spray millet!

New birds! And new photos, yum.

Thanks to Brenda @ Melodies in Flight, I’ve got two new pairs, and a baby [allegedly a boy? I think she may be a female though].

The Black-cheeked Zebras, Draven and Dhalia, absolutely love having their cage all to themselves.

I’m VERY happy with the new birds! Huge and giant kudos to Brenda! She did a great job in raising them to be calm and happy [they sing beautifully and are much quieter than Oedipus & Ohphelia], and I can’t get over how different Al, Oedipus & Draven’s songs are.

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Professional Aviary Photos by Yours Truly

So here’s those photos I promised!

Here! – and just click through them.

For the fellow camera geeks: I took em on a Nikon D300. No flash, and various ISO/Aperture settings. I used an auto focus setting, and I’m not ashamed of it. I can never get the manual focus right. Things always turn out blurry.

And yes, there is poop in some places. The cage gets wiped once a month [next week yay!], but pooping is inevitable you know.

Adding to the Flock!

This Friday I’ll be getting a new pair, and a fledgling! They’re Black-cheeked Zebras, so they’re a bit unusual – which I like. They look like a black and white drawing or photo of a Zebra Finch to me.

I’ll be getting the new birds just a couple weeks before the aviary upgrade, so the pair will be housed in another cage. I’ll be adding more to the flock soon.

I’ll also be adding to the site today, to include all the updates I’ve been talking about, along with some product information in the “What you’ll need…” section.

Outdoor vs Indoor Aviaries

From my avairy ideas Pinterest list – click for more info and credit.

Out or in? Large or small? Bought or made? My head has been spinning since researching aviary options for my birds.

So while combing through the pages of The Lady Gouldian Finch while showing the site to a friend, I happened upon their aviary of the month.

I’ve seen it a few times now, and can’t get the idea out of my head: that an outdoor aviary is very popular for breeders, so maybe that means its the best kind of aviary?

What I’ve found is that certainly is a popular option. Why? Because most bird hobbyists don’t just ever own one or two birds – they own a large number of pairs for both enjoyment as pets and for breeding purposes.

From LGF – click for more info and credit.

Outdoor Aviaries
Outdoor aviaries are more feasible for warmer climates, but all birds enjoy being able to be closer to nature. In colder climates, aviary owners can enable their birds to enjoy the outdoor experience by either housing them on a warm sun porch or building an additional outside attachment to their indoor aviaries.

Outdoor aviaries also present new risks for your birds when you house them outside – pests, disease and predators (including feral or neighborhood cats, foxes, snakes, birds of prey, etc.) are a few.

To ensure that your birds are not infected from the various diseases they may encounter in an outdoor aviary, it is important to vaccinate or medicate your flock for anything they may come into contact with. This can include diseases passed via insects or other pests. It only takes one bird coming into contact with a contagious disease for an entire flock to be infected. This not only affects your flock but also anyone you have given or sold birds to. Symptoms may take generations or months to materialize and are especially hard to notice in a large flock in an outdoor aviary.

You can help secure the health of your birds by treating them yearly with over-the-counter medications and seeking vaccinations from your veterinarian as needed. For a list of treatable diseases with medicines found at LG, click here. For a list of possible diseases that Finches can encounter, click here and scroll down to the “Bacterial, Protozoa, Fungal & Virus” section. For a list of symptoms and disease recognition, click here. 

Finches need warm places to live since their natural climate is hot and arid. If you do choose an entirely outdoor aviary in a colder climate, you will need to ensure that their enclosure or building stays consistently warm. Outdoor aviaries need to be designed to provide a safe environment for birds from any and all outside factors including weather and direct sunlight.

From my avairy ideas Pinterest list - click for more info and credit.

From my avairy ideas Pinterest list – click for more info and credit.

Species Compatibility
A common mistake when you’re housing multiple species of small birds together is combining hookbills with softbills – Budgies/etc. with Finches. I hear stories of it all of the time – they may look like they are playing at first, but then it takes a deadly turn in an instant. Another multi-species mistake is housing aggressive Finches together or other species that are not compatible. Here is an incredible compatibility chart from Finche Niche for more information about housing breeds together.

There are many Finch species that are compatible enough to live together in a large aviary. The hardiest ones that I feel are the easiest to introduce to each other and also work well together are: Zebra & Society Finches. Society Finches also make excellent surrogate parents. Be careful when adding to your flock, though. The more birds you take on, the more time and money that you will need to go into their care.

From my avairy ideas Pinterest list - click for more info and credit.

From my avairy ideas Pinterest list – click for more info and credit.

My Choice
In the end, I’ve decided that indoor individual flight cages paired with indoor aviaries and a large walk-in aviary inside of a bird room is what I prefer. It provides the protection from all of the outdoor elements that I don’t want to expose my birds to, while still providing my birds with plenty of living and flying space.

For more aviary photos – click the picture to visit LGF. You can see more pictures of my personal favorite outdoor and indoor aviary ideas on my Aviary Pinterest list.

I can has new aviary?

Though it’s been rewarding to take in and re-home birds, I’ve decided to upgrade our flock and add another permanent pair of CFWs along with some other new species and mutations.

In doing so, while my little Prevue Hendrix Finch Flight cage has been perfect for my tiny family and occasional guests, I’ve got to upgrade.

So naturally, I started a long bit of research.

I started with some medium cages and the idea that another breeding pair and a couple of pairs of another species would suffice, but deep down, I wanted to go bigger.

So I settled on two different and large aviaries.

The first, and #2 on my list, is the Prevue Royalty Pagoda-style Bird Cage.

Why? Because it’s different! I like different, and I like style. It’s a neat design, and it’s got plenty of space, yes?

I could fit probably 6-8 pairs of tiny finches in there comfortably, with plenty of room. Some breeders would go for maybe twice that many, but I don’ t need that many pairs, and I like to spoil my birds, remember?

I don’t get the lack of a pull-out tray, though. And no grate on the bottom? That’s just silly. No storage I can deal with, but this cage doesn’t seem easy to clean.

The last cage, and #1 on my list is the Marianna Victorian Bird Cage. While not as funky as the other, this avairy has a top door and larger main door, a grate at the bottom, and a pull-out tray. No storage I guess, but I don’t need it. Plus the top is more elegant than funky.

So I think I may go with #1, though #2 is about half the price. I’m so excited about this change! This opens up a whole new opportunity – to have more species that I love and to breed more pairs!

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Products for the Flock

As a lady with what I think of as a big heart, I love to spoil my pets. My dog has his own backpack complete with camelbak water packs, a cedar dog house, and toys that come in just about whenever I go out shopping [a couple times a month – I’m an e-shopper for the most part].

A Feline Solarium! (Original photo from thefelinesolarium.com)

My cats have their own play set in the laundry room, each has their own preferred litterbox, feeder and waterer, a heated sill and various sleeping accessories – soon with a feline solarium, too.

So needless to say that my birds get the best of the best. They’ve got a flight cage, a whole forest of silk tropical flowers, and lots of various little things to spoil them. When it comes to their food and vitamins, they’re doubly spoiled.

ladygouldianfinch.com

For all bird feeding, I recently graduated from a common Petco shopper to a Lady Gouldian shopper. The site has an incredible selection from everything a breeder or simple bird owner could possibly need – with things like grit to nest boxes and nesting materials to name a few.

And everything from this store is FRESH. It’s revitalizing to know that each seed is not stale, and would sprout on command. It’s also reassuring that they provide detailed information pages and reviews for each vitamin supplement – from fertilization aides to medicinal mixes.

With a long list of recommendations and success stories as well as stories from personal aviculture-savy friends, it is no wonder I love their products.

And wow, what products! My flock has been much more fertile and they love everything in their finger trays, treat cups, treat dishes and especially their seed feeders.

I highly recommend this site to breeders, owners, or anyone who is even thinking of purchasing a new bird. The site really covers everything, and even has a large supply of information – free of charge.

And I promise – they are not paying me to say this. I don’t get a discount and I’ve never met anyone at LG. I don’t even think they’ll even find out about my little endorsement. It just needs to be said, especially after how long it took me to find it and how many crappy products I had to suffer with until then.

So a huge thanks to the Lady Gouldian, a place where I’ll be shopping for the rest of my time as a bird owner/enthusiast.

Fly Farm Products

Bugs for Your Birds

NFSS | The National Finch & Softbill Society

Avian Husbandry, Conservation, Propagation & Exhibition

The White Finch Aviary

Breeder of Fine Finches

Evergreen State Photography

Life in the PNW rainforest

Wild Parrots of New York

Quaker Parrots & Monk Parakeets in the New York Metro Area

Lara Joseph

An animal training, behavior, and enrichment specialist.

Birdie Bootcamp

Getting my life (and my butt) in shape

arlenepowers

Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

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