Tag Archives: bird

Fledglings Available for Adoption in Alabama

Bean, while she was determined to incubate seed.

Bean, determined to incubate seed.

**UPDATED 9/28/13!**

Hi finch friends!

This is Becca — I posted several months ago about my work as an ornithology technician in the New Hampshire forests.

I also keep a small (but growing) colony of zebra finches in a spare room in my apartment.  I can’t wait to post someday to share with you my trials and tribulations as a new finch owner but longtime bird lover, though for now I post with a different purpose!

I have embarked on the journey of breeding these little birds from time to time, both for my own personal enjoyment and to encourage pair bonding to stabilize my once-squabbling colony.

Given my space limitations, however, I sometimes find myself with several babies in need of good homes.  Chelsea has kindly allowed me to advertise my available birds here.  She has been a truly invaluable mentor in helping me foster these fat little friends!

Pancake, sitting fat and sassy.

Pancake, sitting fat and sassy.

Right now, I am looking for homes for three CFW sisters and a CFW/Fawn male.  Their parents, named Bean and Pancake, are personal favorites of mine for their especially fluffy demeanor and bold personalities.

The fledgies are still young (less than 2 months old) and seem to delight in rolling around in feces, but they are sweet and perky — and just starting to squeak tiny “beeps” of their own. Continue reading

Off-Season Breeding & Penguin Update~

If you’ve been following the TWFA updates for this past season, then you’ve heard me gripe about my finickiest new mutation, my pairs of Penguin Zebra Finches.

What exactly makes them finicky? To start, on average they lay 1-2 eggs per clutch and will lay about 1-2 times per breeding season. They’re fragile breeders, finicky eaters and also more susceptible to illness which means it’s a good idea to keep them fat, exercised and on a consistent, balanced diet. Did I mention that they’re a challenge which I am crazy enough to enjoy? The babies they’ve produced this year have been some of the cutest and quickest to be adopted. 

It has definitely been a journey to bring them all into prime breeding condition to say the least! Both Penguin pairs have been thoroughly rested since their last clutch of babies, and have been moved to the aviary’s year-round breeding cycle. This schedule is reserved for pairs that lay 1-2 clutches each year and take breaks of up to 6 months in between.

After some nest changes and settling into the new house with a new view of the outdoors, I have returned home from a week of absence to find 5 freshly laid eggs in a newly built nest made of natural organic materials as well as pieces of their fresh millet branches. Always a happy find here in the aviary! The other Penguins are still deciding between a nest box and a cup-style, still carrying supplies here and there without any real building going on.

A slower than usual process
All of my Penguins get more natural light and less synthetic so they are not overstressed or overstimulated during their light breeding schedule. They also receive their high protein foods after they begin laying which assists them during the parenting process. I’ve also been introducing multiple nest options since these pairs are new to the aviary and to breeding so as anyone can guess, some nests are favored over others. All of these precautions do make for a slower breeding process but that is their “flow” which is always the goal here, to find their favorite environment and to replicate it in the most natural way for the rest of their lives. Continue reading

Days 18 & 7 ~ Survival Tips & Flock Annoyances

This post is part of my participation in the 31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge @ Students & Birds. Join me & participate in your own way through forum posts, Facebook notes/posts, Pinterest pins, etc!

Day 18 – Your best Finch survival tip.

I have 2 main survival tips when it comes to raising & breeding Finches. The first is to make things fun. Whether this is challenging yourself to keep a rare species or mutation of Finch, blogging or posting on the forum about your birds, working towards upgrading your setups or adding an aviary, or raising your own babies by hand, each hobbyist has to make it theirs in order to truly enjoy it sometimes. This is also helpful to remember on those not-so-easy days when you may be less inclined to spend time with your birds, either due to a recent event or a growing lack of interest. When it isn’t fun for you, it isn’t fun for your flock so challenge yourself to do something new! Continue reading

1 Month Bird Blogging Challenge & New Resources

(An updated photo of the brooder babies)

(An updated photo of the brooder babies)

Brooder Babies
3 More babies are in the brooder at the moment! They’re over the 1 week hump now & are almost finished feathering out into some beautiful colors ~ 2 Phaeo & 1 Fawn. They’ll be moving out of the brooder & into a cage soon. Even in the Summer months, my babies love the R-Com. They look like small dinosaurs at this stage of their lives, walking around on top of the nesting materials & stretching their wings. They spend some time each day being active & even clumsily pecking at the new materials in the brooder. They enjoy being pet as you see (right) & human interaction/other forms of affection.

Our other 2 hand-tame Phaeos are nearing their first molt and don’t seem to mind sharing a little hand space with their new “siblings” from the brooder. They hop around the bird room from cage to cage socializing with their favorite pairs during their daily free-fly time and are starting to reluctantly taste their Tonic Seed & Spray Millet. They’re still dependent on hand feedings and it will be a slow process to wean them. I’m really enjoying their company in the mean time.~

31 Day Bird Blogging Challenge
As things shut down here this month and we continue to decorate/construct in preparation for our photo shoot, I will be participating in Students & Birds‘ current Blogging Challenge (I talk more about their awesome blog below). What a fantastic idea for us avian enthusiast authors! 🙂 This will give me a chance to write more about the aviary in a creative way while keeping everyone entertained through our dust. I won’t be writing every day as the challenge implies, but I will be covering all of the 31 topics before the end of the season. Continue reading

Insightful Finch Course from The Finch Center

I recently came across The Finch Center ~ a website owned by Jennie Samuel who is the author of “The Easy Approach to Finch Care.” This site was immediately bookmarked and added to the Resource section of my links page.

I am ashamed to admit this book is still on my ‘to read’ list after I finish soaking up the knowledge inside “Clinical Avian Medicine” which is proving to be quite a feat given my current load. Her book is a wonderful resource that many other Finch breeders recommend and I can’t wait to read it for myself.

Jennie’s website is full of incredibly insightful information, and her Finch Course is no exception. Any hobbyist can apply for free and receive tutorials and articles via email with an easy to use sign up form.

I have really enjoyed her messages thus far and always look forward to the next. Her words will not only stimulate your Finch knowledge but also gives you a number of reliable suggestions that may have even the advanced hobbyists re-thinking aspects of their husbandry.

Birds As A Career

An inside view of Hubbard Brook Research Forest in Northern New Hampshire.

Hi everyone!

I’ve been graciously invited to share some of my personal stories as a student in ornithology. As a new finch owner and a long-time bird-lover, I hope that some of my tales will be interesting to friends of TWFA 🙂

The most remarkable field job I have worked took place in the forests of Northern New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I drove straight from a remote field site in “Cold Mud-pit,” Wyoming (the unofficial but accurate name for our trailer camp in the sage-brush), so the transition to the beautiful green mountains could not have been more welcome.

I was part of an 8-person team of field assistants: three “banders,” and five “nest-searchers” — I was the latter.  We were working on a joint project under Cornell University and the Smithsonian, in Hubbard Brook Research Forest. We stayed in a station that was closer to a series vacation condos than a field camp. We had real beds, a huge kitchen, and multiple couches! To give a sense of context, many, MANY field positions involve months of camping with little access to showers or perishable food. My job in Wyoming had a trailer as base-camp. Continue reading

What do I do if my Gouldian Finch is fluffed up and not moving very much in her cage? She laid one egg yesterday.

It sounds like she may be eggbound, and in that case needs to be seen by an avian veterinarian.

Prior to getting her to the doctor, apply heating to the cage – can be a heating pad leaned up against the outside of the cage, draped with a towel to warm her.

(For additional tricks to help a hen through egg binding, read this post.)

Answered by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian Practice, Dipl. ABVP-Exotic Companion Mammals. 

Do you know why my bird would drop dead after no signs of being sick?

Birds hide their symptoms so in actuality there may have been some underlying illness.

Birds also have heart attacks and stroke – they have a lot of heart disease, and that may be what happened.

Without a necropsy (autopsy) there is no way to know what caused the death. Continue reading

I cut my bird’s nails too short and they bled quite a bit but it’s stopped now. Should I take them to the Emergency Vet?

If the bird is sitting fluffed from the blood loss, and is painful (toes), first thing to do is get some heat to the caging. This can be done using a heating pad up against the outside of the cage near where the bird is sitting. Drape the cage with a towel to help keep the bird warm.

Any Emergency Veterinarian service needs to be one that has experience with birds. Most do not. You would have to call. If during office hours, your regular avian veterinarian should be consulted. Continue reading

My finch injured its leg and now it looks broken. What should I do?

Depending on where it is broken will determine if splinting will work. You need to take your bird to an avian veterinarian to determine the fracture site and splint or internally fix (femur) the fracture.

(Read more about how to create a temporary splint for your pet bird’s broken leg here using a popsicle stick, cotton swab, cardboard strip and gauze.) Continue reading

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