Tag Archives: light

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

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Shedding Some Light on Cage Lights

One of the “original” pairs ~ My first male Oedipus the CFW enjoying the warmth of his cage light & acting curious as I photograph him. (TWFA 2010)

This article is part of my series “10 Misinformed Facts” about topics relating to keeping Finches. Throughout this series I will cover 10 misconceptions for each subject in hopes that my “tips” will help hobbyists sort through their research to better their flock’s care. 

We’ve all battled with cage lights as small animal owners. Should we use them? What kind should we buy? What sort of bulbs do I use? Are they 100% safe?

The fact of the matter is that we can’t find all of the answers in one place. Some people talk about full spectrum, some speak of UVB. Others still swear by natural lighting. It can be overwhelming so the typical owner will stray from lights altogether.

I can honestly say that if you are not using cage lights for your indoor birds then you are depriving them of an aspect of their natural environment, just like deciding not to give them greens or grit. Most indoor setups are not sufficiently lit without them because windows are not exposed to direct sunlight at all times during the day, or the windows filter too much of the natural light rays. Also in some states such as our beloved Washington that we now call home, the day and night hours can be too random or incomplete for Finches. Our sunrise can range from 5-7am and our sunset has ranged from 4-11pm, therefore we need to regulate our flock with artificial lighting. Continue reading

Streaming Live From TWFA

Species: Zebra Finch
Mutation: LB BF BC
Names: Leonidas & Lilac
Ages: Young Adult >1 Year
Eggs/Babies?: Eggs removed this morning for incubation

Can’t watch live? View the recorded session at any time here.

It’s here! Our first live video “Cage Cam” air date. I’m proud to announce that there will be a streaming video of one of our newer young breeding pairs today from 12 pm (noon) – 3 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time) on the TWFA Video Channel. Tune in to see Leonidas & Lilac (LB BF BC) pal around their cage and forage for food and treats. Subscribe on Youtube for updates on all future videos.

I have begun the cage re-designs so viewers this afternoon will notice some new flower combinations inside of their cage that I am trying out. I’m also not happy overall with the Finch-shaped woven nests (since they end up with very little space inside) and will be replacing them with Jumbo-sized Canary nests instead.

Continue reading

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