Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gouldians and a baby quail.

I took my camera up to our aviaries today, hoping to get some new photos of our birds. I was in luck with the Gouldian finches. We have the new adult pair in with our original pair, but Ken put the two babies from the first pair into the adjoining aviary. The first pair are sitting on eggs again, and their babies were making a nuisance of themselves, hopping in and out of the nest box. Mum Gouldian was getting quite cross with them, so that is why Ken moved them. It is so cute to see them at night; the young ones sit together on the perch nearest the adjoining aviary, so they can be near their parents, who sit on the other side of the wire when they aren't on their eggs.

These are the two males. One of the babies is on the right.

In this photo, the two females seem to be chatting to both of the young ones through the wire.

The Quail has only hatched one egg out of the five she was sitting on. On the day it hatched, it was freezing cold, and the little one was in danger of dying, as the mother wasn't keeping it under her wings. So Ken brought it inside, warmed it up in his hand, and put it in a little box to keep it warm. When he decided it might survive, he brought the mother quail inside, and put them both in a bird carry cage, with a bit of food and water. They have been there for 3 days now and the chick is more active, and growing more down. I'll try to take another photo of it in a day or so. This one was taken the day it hatched.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Three more new birds.

Today we attended the Avicultural Society birds sale in Warragul, which is about an hour's drive south east of Melbourne. Ken bought a pair of Gouldian Finches for $40, and a male Diamond Firetail Finch, which cost $50. He only bought the Diamond Firetail because it was a very good price (they are usually closer to $100), and we only had enough money between us for one! He has always loved these finches, but they are hard to come by, as they are an endangered species. He may buy a female at one of the bird sales later this year, but he will have to decide what to do with some of the birds he has at the moment, as they are not always compatible with other finches.
Our resident Gouldians seemed happy to have a new pair moving in with them. Ken will put another nest box in the aviary so the new ones will be able to lay eggs without disturbing the old ones nestbox.
I haven't got any photos yet, as it was raining when we got home - too wet and cold to mess about taking photos of excited/stressed little birds flying around like little rockets! Here is a photo of a Diamond Firetail, which I found on the website of the Australian Finch Society.

Recent additions to our Aviaries

Last month we went to the Avicultural Society bird sale in Ararat in country Victoria. We came home with one canary, two Charcoal zebra finches and a blue male budgie. We've also had some babies hatching, and others due to hatch soon. Here are some photos:

At the top, two Charcoal zebra finches. Lower perch, the three canaries. From left: original female, on the right is the new female (darker than the other two) and behind her is the male.

We have 14 budgies now, but it is impossible to get a photo of them all together as they flit around the aviary so fast! This pic shows a good selection of the colours we have.

Like the budgies, the Gouldian finches are very flighty, but I was able to snap our little family on one perch. From left, the baby from the first clutch, the father, the baby from the second clutch, and the mother. Three babies fledged from each clutch, but two out of the three were killed by butcher birds, so Ken has put heavy plastic across the front of the aviaries now, so birds outside can't peck through the wire to get to the finches. We won't know what sex the babies are until they colour up, in about a year's time.

Ken bought a pair of Silver Quail about a month ago, and the female laid eggs within a fortnight!
Mum sitting on her eggs.
Dad watching over her.