|Daytona - 3 weeks old
||Going through his
|Daytona is a red-headed normal male gouldian that I handfed in September
2002. (OK - we didn't know he was a boy when my nephew named
him "Daytona".) I had called an end to breeding
season in the aviary at the end of August and removed all of
the nest boxes. But that didn't stop my champion egg-layer,
Lucille, from laying "just one more egg" in a
I gave the egg
to a pair of caged society finches, and being societies,
they sat on it. And being societies, they decided that one
egg wasn't enough, so they produced 4 more to keep it
company. Daytona hatched right on schedule and he grew
quickly as his foster parents kept him well fed. A week
later, his step-brothers and sisters hatched. Now there was
a problem. Daytona was huge compared to the tiny society
babies. I was afraid the tiny babies would be squashed by
Daytona, so I removed him and became his new
|Daytona with his best
|Hand-feeding him was surprisingly easy. Daytona
loved to eat and would gladly open his mouth for a syringe
any time I was near. (Since then, I've found that it's not
always that easy.)
A couple of weeks later, I started hand-feeding two
more finches - Daytona's step-sister
"Cricket", a fawn pied society, and another
gouldian, "Donovan". Both of them were much
smaller than their siblings and I was afraid they
wouldn't survive if I left them with their parents.
Cricket was a challenge. Unlike Daytona and Donovan,
it was difficult to get her to open her mouth for her
feedings. I assumed it would get easier once she got
used to me, but it never did. I came to understand why
she was so much smaller than her siblings - she wouldn't
beg for food! But there was a happy ending - she
survived and grew to a normal size and became very tame
She loved to snuggle against my neck underneath my
hair and she always flew to my hand whenever I started
playing the piano. I don't think this was a compliment
to my piano skills. I think she learned quickly that the
awful noise would stop as soon as she flew to my hands.
Cricket and Donovan now live with my friend, Ruth.
They get lots of play time out of their cage.
Daytona still lives with us and he's a very happy
and active little bird. His "home base" is a
flight cage with my other tame birds - 3 parakeets and
a cockatiel, but much of the time the cage doors are
open. When he's out, he flies around at roughly 100
mph, then comes in for a landing on my head or
shoulder. He "checks in" with me about every
5 minutes and we have a little conversation. Then he's
off again to have some fun with his parakeet buddies.
He sings and dances for my male parakeet, Juneau,
and he's currently building a nest behind my neice's
photo on our fireplace mantel. He's using dead leaves
(no shortage of those on my house plants) and loose
hairs that he yanks out of my head.
||Here I go!
||You found me????