Tag Archives: zebra finch

New House, New Bird Room, New Finches!

Casper (right) ~ A handsome new addition to the aviary. He is a BH YB PB Gouldian Finch. (TWFA 2014)

Well after a hellacious time with our previous landlord, I’m finally free in a bigger, more beautiful new house! Everything happens for a reason, and after an incredibly negative experience my main goal for the new house was to find a better landlord (and house) altogether which I definitely accomplished. If you’d like to see photos of the new house, visit my Facebook page or add my personal profile here. I won’t be posting specific bird room photos on my public site any more for security reasons. I just couldn’t help myself last time!

I’m absolutely in love with this new house! With very kind landlords to boot, it just makes the whole ordeal perfect. There’s also lots of space and windows, much more so than in the last house. This also means that my Zebra Finch pairs are getting back into their breeding groove, some immediately and some are still getting used to the change. The Gouldians will have to wait until I build them their nest boxes in the next week or two. Continue reading

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Big Breeder Businesses ~ Paradise Earth is Setting a Standard

A video still of Paradise Earth's planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

A video still of Paradise Earth’s planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

If you’ve been following my posts on the Finch Forum, then you know I’ve been asking around about big breeder businesses you see online with a constant supply of Finches & just about every species imaginable. Ever since I learned their true nature earlier this year, that they use brokers and actually don’t do 95% of their own breeding, I had to know how this was done to a high standard of care. Much like when I first heard about USPS shipping, I was extremely skeptical at first but after some great advice from other experienced hobbyists I saw how it could be streamlined & successfully done safely.

My overall opinion of big breeder businesses was changed instantly while working with Paradise Earth owner David Calvin for an article I’m writing for the NFSS Journal. It’s pretty plain for anyone to see, they’re doing it right. They’ve got quarantine procedures for incoming Finches and quarantine cages that actually are nicer & more spacious than a lot of the hobbyist setups I’ve seen. After quarantine, their birds are transferred to large planted aviaries which is pretty much every Finch or any other bird’s dream. They do let them breed in the group aviaries and pick their own mates which they claim is the best system for them. This type of natural selection is used by many breeders successfully, and on a small scale it has minimal chance to go wrong. In a large mixed aviary where most if not all of the Finches are breeding however, it would be a recipe for disaster so be wary when deciding to use this method. Paradise Earth has decades of collective knowledge and avian vets so their system was not created on a whim!

A video still of Paradise Earth's planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

A video still of Paradise Earth’s planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

I was also really impressed to learn they hand raise!! In fact, David has philosophies for care that are exactly the same as those of us hobbyists who go “above and beyond.” He believes we should provide the best level of care, the most natural environments, and we should support each other as a community. Incredible. I literally had to fist pump in excitement when I heard that. His website even includes a section for free listings from other hobbyists like we do here @ TWFA!

Paradise Earth is clearly way ahead of the curve compared to the horror stories you hear about other large-scale businesses. They’re also the only large-scale bird business to step up to the plate and under the spotlight for an interview (I contacted all of them!). I challenge all bird businesses and hobbyist breeders to stand up to their high standards! If you can’t talk about your processes or put your business under the spotlight, you might want to re-think what you’re doing. Personally I will definitely be recommending Paradise Earth in the future! If/when I do decide to add more exotic species I’ll definitely have them in mind.

Keep an eye out for the article I mentioned regarding large-scale breeders in a future issue of the NFSS Journal. We’ve got a lot planned for Sept/Oct & Nov/Dec so it may be Jan/Feb but I’ll let everyone know when it’s out.

Also look out for some moving updates & the new bird room soon! 🙂

Getting to Know Quigley ~ 2014 BOTS

We are honored to have Quigley the Bourke Parakeet as the TWFA 2014 Bird of the Season winner! He is our official mascot for the current breeding season and we will post updates about him regularly. As you can see he represents the parrot/hookbill side of the avian community and brings us all together as avian hobbyists or just enthusiasts. To find out more about this contest or to apply for next season, click here

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quigley2A little about Quigley

by Kristy

Quigley is very good at learning new tunes. He will get very close to my lips and give me kisses until I whistle a melody. We do this for a short time before he flies away to sit either on top of the fridge or on his chair in the kitchen to practice. He will fly back to me several times for me to whistle the same tune and then off he goes again. It doesn’t take long for him to learn but I love when he gets one mastered and then mushes all the tunes together making it his own.

So far he can whistle Wizard of Oz, Pop Goes the Weasel, cat calls, Andy Griffith, Cuckoo Clock bird, an Army tune, Frosty the Snowman, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, the Charge tune and various bird calls. He also sings a very sweet warble of notes that often puts me to sleep. He calls to us using the Cuckoo Clock bird call.

Sometimes Quigley helps Dad put his socks on and lotion up his feet. He sits on one leg while Dad lotions his other foot and hops to the other side when Dad says, “rotate.” When he’s done, Dad says, “okay,” and Quigley flies away to wait for the door to open then downstairs he goes.

quigley plus mommaQuigley is a very sweet, gentle and quiet bird. He doesn’t like to have his chin rubbed too often but he does get snuggly in the evenings and does like having the top of his head kissed. He doesn’t play with toys very much but he does love his mirror with the beads and also preening type toys.

Quigley plays fetch with tiny beads and a small birdie ball. He will also help us move pieces around the Monopoly board on game nights. Quigley is the best paper shredder too. Don’t leave your dollar bills sitting around! His favorite perch is usually a shoulder for a free ride around the house. I think he looks especially pretty sitting on Mom’s shoulder (right).

Quigley is a very good eater and will try anything once. If he doesn’t like it he will shake his head crazy, sneeze and fly away. He does love his sprouts and birdie bread that is loaded with veggies and of course loves his millet. He goes crazy for fresh corn, green beans and mashed potatoes. Fresh herbs and wheatgrass are also among his diet. He’s not a fruit eater at all, but he will take a bite to make sure he still doesn’t like them.

Quigley is a very spoiled bird!

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

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
Continue reading

20 Charcoal, Fawn, White & Pied Finches available in Sydney, Australia

Charcoal male & his young offspring

By Wayne

Hi all, my name is Wayne and I live in the suburb of Pennant Hills in Sydney, Australia. I will be shortly moving house and will not be able to take my flock of around twenty zebra finches with me. As I will be moving in three weeks, whoever wants them, must take the lot. 

Chelsea has kindly allowed me to place my information here. My zebra finches are Charcoal, Fawn, White and Dappled (Pied) in color, all are healthy birds. They would be the perfect flock for a beginner to start some selective breading.

I would like to give my birds to someone who could give them a good home. They come with a traveling cage and plenty of seed to keep them going! If you’re interested please message me here

Additional Photos (click to enlarge):
wayne3 wayne4 wayne5

Breeder Review ~ The Finch Fanatic

Breeder Reviews by Chelsea @ TWFA
Often times I will get messages from people asking me where they can find a bird that I don’t have or a mutation I don’t have readily available. I am happy to pass along those people to the best possible options for them based on my experiences with other breeders. In the Breeder Review section is where you can read about all of my experiences as a buyer and recommendations to help you in your search to adopt the healthiest and highest of quality feathered friend. All reviews are assigned a general rating with 4 being the highest.

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The Finch Fanatic – Banning, Ca.
Purchased: FF, FC, LB, BC, BF, YB, Phaeo, OB, Fawn, Grey Cheek, BB
Also Available: Every Zebra mutation you could want or imagine!
Pecking?: None
Bird Health/Quality: Very Excellent ~ Show Quality/Champion Winning
Current Status: Breeding & Offspring Available
NFSS Registered Breeder

Phaeo & YB juveniles raised from Finch Fanatic pairs

Phaeo & YB juveniles raised from Finch Fanatic pairs

My Review: I want to give this breeder 10 *’s instead of just 4! She has not only given me some of the most wonderful Zebras and made TWFA what it is today, she has also recently placed twice in the 2013 West Coast Zebra & Society Finch show. That is not an easy feat to say the least!

She placed for her Florida Fancies, and needless to say I am in love with mine. I contacted her at the start of the 2013 season looking for Phaeos and a couple of other colors as a Valentine’s Day present from my fiance, and her response was basically “give me a list of your dream colors, and I will make it happen.” She definitely did! And with a hugely discounted price for multiple pairs, I feel like I got the deal of a lifetime. Continue reading

The New Bird Room~

The breeder cages. (TWFA 2014)

The individual breeder cages. (TWFA 2014)

The juvenile aviary - 5ftx3ftx18in. (TWFA 2014)

The juvenile aviary – 5ft (w) x 3ft (h) x 18in (d).  Can you spot the photo bomber?? (TWFA 2014)

It’s been weeks and a whole lot of work but the new bird room is finally complete! The main delay was the 3 months it took to figure out how to hang the expensive new shelves on the 100-year-old walls of our new house. First we thought of special load bearing hooks, then considered cast iron shelves, finally figuring out how to build our own studs thanks to the suggestion of another family member. That was right around the beginning of the new year. Continue reading

Let the 2014 Breeding Season begin!!

A very "Red" Phaeo male we are keeping for 3rd generation breeding. He is aptly named Strawberry for obvious reasons. (TWFA 2014)

A very “Red” Phaeo male we are keeping for 3rd generation breeding. He is aptly named Strawberry for obvious reasons. (TWFA 2014)

With a Breeding Season like we had for 2013, I should have expected that the following Resting Season would be eventful and full of surprises. It did not disappoint!

TWFA gets some special attention
We’ve been getting a lot of it lately!! And it’s always very flattering and very appreciated. First, a picture of the hand raised babies was shared by the Doodlebug Duds Facebook page. We sent them a thank you alongside a customer appreciation photo, and they thought it was pretty neat that one of their hand-made pet beds was being used by little birdies.

Next, my favorite blog and birdie blog Students & Birds published my guest article about owning Zebra Finches. Her site is so cool!! She’s always got such innovative ideas for her series posts and this one does not disappoint, featuring different bird species being explained in depth by a long-time owner. And lastly, GouldianFinch.gr shared my recent photo of the updated juvenile aviary. They are a great resource for different bits of Finch-related information and will post lots of pictures of different species & mutations on their page. I also want one of their Gouldian posters!

A LB CFW male enjoying the juvenile aviary. (TWFA 2014)

2014 New Mutations
Here are a list of the new mutations we’ve come up with during this “off season” with lots of luck and wonderful parents: Lightback CFW (pictured left), Very “Red” Phaeo (pictured top right), Very Black BF BC, Fawn Yellow Beak, Fawn Penguin (pictured bottom right), and a very Vibrant CFW (pictures coming soon!).

These have all manifested in our 2013 offspring and will be bred further for 3rd generation offspring. I was highly lucky to get these colors by chance! I had expected to wait until 3rd or 4th generations. It’s a true testament to the excellent breeding of my pairs from their original breeder. I will also be leaving a review for her shortly. It has been written for some time but things have been a lot busier than originally anticipated! Now there will be many photos to accompany it. Continue reading

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

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