Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Three Canaries

Three Canaries
Originally uploaded by kwshoes.
Katha Sheehan, the Key West Chicken Lady and Janet's employer, gave us three canaries and a cage. One day, after stopping by there to work on her computer, I commented to her about how prettily hers sang -- she has a couple of dozen. That's what prompted her to offer us one of our own, an offer subsequently increased to three and a cage she constructed herself.

Katha's husband Roy brought the cage over yesterday afternoon. We set it up in between the dining and living areas, on a small table, while we decide what kind of cage we want to get and where to locate it.

I have memories from my childhood of a canary in my great-aunt's kitchen in Cambridge, MA. I spent a lot of time there as a kid, listening to the radio while she cooked and cleaned for my grandmother and grandfather with whom she was then living.

The three canaries we have chosen to adopt were selected by Katha for their singing ability, and for their compatibility in living in a cage together. There are two males and a female. The bright yellow one on the photo is a male of indeterminate age. Katha "rescued" him when he was found with an injured foot. That foot, the left I think, is now gone, so he hops around using the stump of the leg for balance while grasping perches with his good foot. He was named by Katha "Angry Eyes" because he was quite agitated after losing the foot (wouldn't you be?). Janet renamed him Sunshine -- Sunny for short -- because of his color. The other male and the female are both youngsters and are physically smaller than Sunny. The male is named "Jack" and the female "Zoe".

I asked Katha a about them, how they got along with one another, whether the two males were likely to end up in conflict over the female and how to deal with that. She told me that the female had been shunned by her mother and father when she was a babay, that they had begun pecking out her feathers, and that Sunny took over the parenting role from them, feeding her until she was old enough to feed on her own.

We have a lot to learn about raising canaries, and will have to decide on whether to allow them to breed for and raise their own babies (once Zoe decides who a suitable sire might be).

I have to do some more research, try to find a video for Janet and I to watch.

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