|My beautiful Bengalese finches Ushio (left most head & body) & Tanuki!|
As I mentioned in the post the other day (so sorry this isn't posted on the day I'd planned to, I hadn't uploaded the pics and wasn't feeling well enough to do blog work) today's post is all about my new birds! I was meant to be catching up with a friend on ThursdayI haven't seen for a while, only it didn't happen. When I removed the towels I use to cover my bird cage at night off, I spotted Zack the zebra finch sitting on the bottom, very quietly. If you own a bird you know that that usually means something is wrong. I was 98% certain he was going to die, so I shoved my cat out of my room, picked him up, and was able to spend the last few minutes he was alive with him, chatting to him and crying lots.
Zack, also known as Zack Zack, was a gobby/chatty & loud zebra finch. I've had him at least 5-6 years, which for a finch is a decent length of time. He's been through 3 wives: 1 escaped from the cage into the big wide world (who I still imagine as having a new hybrid family somewhere because thinking about reality of a cage living bird in the wild is too awful to consider), 1 died in her sleep, and the 3rd who I only got a few weeks ago (& who could be male) survived Zack. He was so noisy I could hear him wherever I was in the house, he loved making his presence known and communicating his happiness/displeasure about pretty much everything.
I feel extremely blessed to have been with him when he died. As awful as it was, that time with him really helped, just as it did with my last bird who died, Flower. Needless to say I cancelled my friend, mostly because grief sucks and uses up a lot of energy so I wasn't up for being social. I cleaned out the cage ready for the next newcomer - I hate only having 1 bird, and do my best to eliminate scent of the deceased bird so it's nicer for both the current bird and the newcomer. I bought a new nest at the pet store, as I just think it's too weird for the birds who need to keep using it.
|Tanuki (left) getting used to its new home while Ushio watches on. It's not overly clear how scruffy Tanuki's 'crested' head is - the wayward hair rivals the lack of tail feathers!|
I'd hoped to get another zebra finch, as I adore their type of tweeting. Unfortunately at the pet store, which is the closest to me that isn't over 1 hour away) their policy was only to sell zebra finches in pairs. For some reason bengalese finches could be sold individually, so I could only get another bengalese (which Ushio, my current bird, is). My choice was limited because there weren't that many Bengalese finches, and most of the ones there had a lot of feathers missing around their tales - birds can be bullies/easily stressed and feather shedding/pecking does happen.
I spotted one I really liked, then saw it had a dodgy foot so I ignored it and tried to find one without many feathers missing. There really wasn't one, and I as I watched the birds to see how they flew and waiting for them to turn around for me to inspect (which of course they took their sweet time about doing so), I kept looking at the bird with the poorly foot. I loved it's colouring. It looked healthy, was able to sit on the perch resting the not so good foot on the perch, and had pretty much all it's feathers, minus the tail ones (but no skin exposed).
You can guess what happens next! I phoned my family to explain the situation, and what I wanted to do. They said to ask the pet sore about the foot, and to be sure I wanted to bring it home. Of course I did! I couldn't leave the poor thing at the pet store, knowing it might get bullied by the other birds. Who would want to buy a bird with a dodgy foot? The pet store staff said it was a recent injury, it hopefully will heal on it's own, and I got an extra 3 days on the existing 7 day return policy (due to the foot). I really appreciated that gesture, and feel that it's fair given the fact I'm buying a bird which isn't quite perfect. It probably helps that I'm a regular at the pet shop so they do 'know' me a little.
|At the time of writing this post I'd hoped to not reveal Tanuki's name until this point, but it felt wrong not giving the name at the start of the post.|
Meet Tanuki! Tanuki means raccoon in Japanese, and would have suited a zebra finch who frequently have grey and white stripes somewhere on their body. I was attached to the name so Tanuki seemed a fit for this cute bird! I'm not sure if I've shown you Ushio yet, sorry if I haven't. They are both bengalese finch, which you can see in the colouring, only Tanuki is a crested bengalese - hence the funny hairdo. Used my tablet camera hence no close ups, but you can see how cute Tanuki is! I won't know if either is boy or girl unless I get eggs from them.
I hope that they become friends quickly and share a nest together - Zack was bit stroppy when Ushio arrived, making poor Ushio spend the night perched on the bath (which is their water supply) or on top of the nest while Zack slept inside. Thankfully that lasted less than a week, so I have great hope for Ushio being friendly to Tanuki, more so as Ushio isn't chasing Tanuki around like Zack did to Ushio.
I keep calling Tanuki and/or Ushio Zack - going to take a while to get used to him gone. It is so quiet without him: Ushio and Tanuki chirrup, but not to the strength of Zack's tweets. Whoever dies next I may then leave on their own so that I can eventually get zebra finches again, but hopefully that won't be for a few years. Until then I am getting my zebra finch fix on Youtube each day - they are so funny! I love seeing the new ones.
Updated after post originally written: There's something to be said for getting birds of the same species, but on the very first night Ushio let Tanuki in the nest!!!! So exciting. They currently spend most of their time in the nest, poking their heads to watch what goes on in my room (not much). I'm thrilled they seem to love each other! Ushio needs it's claws cutting, but my family will help with that as the last time I tried it myself I managed to take too much off and was terrified Flower (now dead) was going to bleed out (lose so much blood she would die). Thankfully that wasn't the cause of her death, but I'm too scared to do it without supervision.
|Tanuki is blocking Ushio from view - it is so hard to get the pose I want as they won't do as I ask!|