Tag Archives: zebra finches

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

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


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!

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

Jessica Kenley

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