on the needles

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My Other Family

Readers of my blog already know I have two sweet Italian Greyhounds. The lovely springy weather today prompted me to take some photos of my other family members. I have four Lady Gouldian Finches and one Society Finch.

This is Sirius:

Sirius is a lovely male. You can tell the males by their brighter colors. When they are in breeding condition the tips of their beaks turn red.

This is Sirius with his lady Rowena:

You can really see the difference in coloration between males and females. When females are in breeding condition the tips of their beaks turn black.

This is Neville:

He is our baby. You can see that his beak has not yet turned red. He is also still getting his adult feathers - "coloring in". He will look like Sirius when he is all grown up.

Neville with Nimbus:

Nimbus is a Society Finch. I'm not sure what color mutation he is but he is not a normal colored Society - he is much lighter.

Nimbus again:

I can tell Nimbus is a male not by his coloration but by his song. Nimbus is in love with me and frequently does the Society Finch mating dance and song when I am around.

Here's Ariel:

Ariel is a dilute mutation. Normal Lady Gouldian males have red heads and very bright green back feathers (like Sirius). Ariels head is bright orange and his back feathers are a softer green.

Nimbus, Ariel and Neville:

My three bachelor boys.

I really love my Finch family. Gouldians are very quiet and have gentle, soft chirps, peeps and trills. On the whole they are not big singers. Nimbus on the other hand can out sing a canary! Wherever I am in the house I can hear soft little birdy noises. It's very soothing, like ocean waves from a distance. Their colorful feathers are a continual inspiration. They come in many more color mutations than I have in my little flock, but all are spectacular! The Gouldians are like little packages of happy. A cage full of Gouldians is a riot of color. I'm so lucky to have them!

Finches - like all birds - require specialized care. You can't just throw birdseed at them. Especially if you want them to stay healthy and in top color. Gouldians are also rather hard to find and a bit expensive - especially when most finch species sell for $50 at the most. But I think they are worth it. To me they are the most beautiful, sweet little birds you could ever hope for.

***Melissa noticed they are all named after Harry Potter characters. All except Ariel who is named after the Little Mermaid because my daughter insisted. :) Does anyone know which character Rowena is named after?***



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