You haven’t met my zebra finches yet.
When we went to buy my birthday budgie, there was a wonderful, huge aviary-type cage on very special offer, so that became a bonus birthday pressie. We moved the budgies into it as soon as it was assembled (we only got one part the wrong way round to start with), which meant there was now a spare bird cage, looking very empty.
So I decided to get some zebra finches as I thought they looked very sweet. These were my anniversary present from Chris. I opted for a couple. Since my budgies haven’t produced an egg in a year, I thought it was probably a long shot that the finches would produce anything as well. But what’s the harm, a pair is a natural bonding so hopefully they’d be happy.
Well, the finches – Augustina and Augustus (since I bought them in August), Tina and Gus for short – have completely won our hearts. They’re the cutest things. They make a crazy noise, a sort of frantic beeping, and they just don’t stop moving. Which is why I don’t have many photos of them!
I did some reading up about finches and it turns out they like a nest to sleep in so we duly bought one, and also a mini-bird bath since Gus had been washing himself in their water bowl! And he still does. After a day looking at it, the finches moved in. We provided hay and grass and fibres for them to build a nice cosy nest with, which they duly did and then Tina proceeded to lay a clutch of five or six eggs. Great excitement.
Chris set up the finchcam, formerly the budgiecam, and we’ve been watching the comings and goings into and out of the nest every day. Yesterday we heard cheeping and some judicious repositioning of the finchcam has showed us the hatchlings, right on schedule i.e. 14 days after Caiti first spotted eggs. We can’t see the little ones very clearly as the nest is quite dark but we’ve had definite glimpses of vague bird shapes and eyes and open beaks.
I’ve boiled and mashed an egg for Gus and Tina to feed the babies, as well as regurgitated seed. Finches are tough and can survive on a low protein diet, but everything I’ve read says that adding egg to the diet when they’re raising young is a good idea. And we’re not short of eggs on the farm.
It turns out that finches are prolific breeders. Ah. This will have to be Gus and Tina’s only brood otherwise the house will fill with finches. We’ll have to have a boys’ cage and a girls’ cage, or rather whichever group is the largest will move in with the budgies.
But for now we’ll enjoy watching the hatchlings grow.
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