It’s interesting how the tiniest little animals can make one go all sweet. This happens to me each time I have looked in on my finches over the years. Someone gave me 6 society finches and one white zebra finch years ago. The zebra finch “beeped” all day long. Pretty annoying! She was the boss of all the others, keeping them in line.
This finch community lived in a large flight cage. Soon, they were nesting and making eggs. Out of these eggs came 7 more babies!! I have to say 14 in even this large cage was too many. What a mess they made! But they were so fun to watch. They love to nest all together in one nest – at evening their little beaks is about all you can see out of the nest – 14 little pointy beaks poking out of a brown mass of feathers in the hole that is in a finch nest. How in the world they all fit in there, I’ll never figure.
They loved to take baths and they love to peep. The boys sing when the girls are around. The boys even sing for me when I come into the room.
I split my flock in half with my friend a couple of years ago. The zebra finch had died, and we only had the society fiinches and their children. I kept one favorite that was crippled – she was so crushed in the nest when all the 6 brothers and sisters were born, that her leg didn’t develop right.. So spent her life hobbling around the cage.
Anyway out of those 7, we had a few that started dying of old age. The cat jumped on top of the cage once, knocked it over, and we had two casualties. One got his claws stuck on his nest and he died a tragic death upside down on the basket (since then no more woven baskets for them, even though they love them so.)
Then we were down to three last month. One morning I saw the crippled one on the bottom of her cage. By evening she was gone. It was a really sad day, and I buried her in my herb garden. Two finches remained, a tawny girl and a brown boy who always sings to me. The girl went into mourning for over a week, burying her head into herself, and wouldn’t come to eat. She finally broke out of it and was ok for about a week. She finally passed away yesterday morning, either from old age, or from a broken heart missing her crippled girl friend.
All that is left is one boy. I would, in a heartbeat, be at the store buying friends for him. However, my husband, son and daughter — all of them do not want the birds in the house any more. Only my son has spent the time to actually look at them. He helps feed them and sometimes likes to pick them up. He is good at chasing them down if they escape! But he’s 17 now, with no more interest in keeping the tiny creatures. They’re too messy for the small enjoyment he gets from them, I think.
Finches are social creatures – they need other birds to thrive. This little boy that remains has sat on one perch, still, alone, peeping for the his lost girl companion. It’s extremely sad. I want to run right out and buy a couple more, but don’t want to go against my family’s wishes – it will cause problems with everyone complaining at me, and I don’t want to do that. I want them to say to me “Oh enjoy your hobby – go get another couple of birds, so the finches and you will be happy.” instead of “Get rid of those birds!” For someone who supports everyones’ interests in my family, regardless what they are, I do get resentful if I’m not supported in mine (although many!) It’s not fair if you get supported if your interest is only quiet, clean and doesn’t bother anyone else in the slightest way whatsoever.
In the meantime, little boy finch sits quiet, alone in his big cage on his perch. Too quiet. Today I will put him into a smaller cage and bring him upstairs by my computer where he can be near me. Perhaps, by chance, I can convince my husband somehow to allow me to bring him home a couple of friends.