Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I don’t need an aviary!


For as long as I can remember, I have loved birds.  When I was only about four or five, we lived in Texas for a while.  A neighbor had an outdoor aviary with lovebirds in it.  I would go over and watch for hours and wish I had one like it.

When I was in Junior High (Middle School for those not old enough to remember Junior High), I had a parakeet called Brenda after a friend of mine.  I kept her in my room and was allowed to let her fly in the room when I was home, if I cleaned up after her.  My mom would put her in the kitchen in her cage sometimes to entertain Candy when she wasn’t in Kindergarten.  Brenda would sing like a canary (she was raised in a large pet store with canaries and other birds) when Mom would fry meat ... Brenda must have loved the sound of sizzling meat!  I had to leave her behind when we moved but never forgot her.

When we lived in Australia, we lived next to a man who had an outdoor aviary (maybe I should move to a mild winter climate to get MY aviary?) with native Australian birds, including a twenty-five year old Cockatoo that he had raised from the nest.  Norm (who does NOT like birds) let me get a lemon yellow parakeet for the girls but she would not tame down and was actually rather mean.  I gave her to a young girl who felt she could tame her down.  My neighbor said he could get a nestling Cockatoo for me; if I owned it for more than a few years, I could legally take it home with me to the States.  But Norm (of course) said “No.”

When we were home from Australia, I was visiting my brother and his wife (no, not Donna, but Robbie, mother of my nephew, CJ).  Robbie was working for a pet store and could get me finches and supplies at cost.  I asked Norm if I could bring some home and he said “No” (of course).

But a few years later we were in Keystone - small town in the Black Hills - shopping for Finches.  I had broken down his resistance!  I made an aviary of sorts - a cage that was about four feet long, two feet wide and about three feet high.  I had two pairs of finches and they actually laid eggs.  But (with my great skill as a breeder) the eggs never hatched.

Gradually the finches died of old age and Norm wouldn’t let me get any more.  (Sigh)

When we moved to Minnesota, Jill and I moved first; Joy and Norm stayed behind for a year for Joy to finish High School.  While I was foot-loose and fancy-free, I purchased a Cockatiel .. a female that wasn’t supposed to be noisy.  I loved to have her sit on my shoulder while we watched TV.  She even ate popcorn from my lips!  But Jill threw socks at her to keep her quiet and Norm objected when he moved in from South Dakota.  So I traded my sweet bird for the harmony of the family and got a pair of canaries.  They lasted for awhile the female died and Norm accidentally let the male out while feeding it and the cat got him. (Sigh)

But I have never stopped measuring any new home with my eye and figuring out where I could put a cage (large, of course) of finches.  Always planning just in case Norm would ever weaken again and say “Yes” instead of “No.”

But now?  I have admitted that I don’t need an aviary or inside birds.  I have one just outside my window!  I have been feeding the birds since we moved here and finally we are getting them to come in numbers!

Norm likes them, now, as long as they stay outside.  And I have, at the last count, seven pairs of Goldfinches who are going mad in the sun and warmth (a FaceBook friend says that they are “twitterpated,” which describes them to a tea.  I also have at least one Baltimore Oriole and two females which I think are Grosbeaks, but could also be Orioles.  Then we have our woodpeckers, our Nuthatches, our Blackbirds, our Blue Jays (which are in hiding right now), our Sparrows and a pair of either Purple Finches or House Finches ... can’t tell for sure.

So, I’m enjoying the outdoor “aviary” and so is Norm.  I love birds!

It’s a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day!

1 comment:

Heather at Dusty Bay said...

How nice to have all those visitors!