Day 25: Today’s Close Up Monday is all about goldfinches.
This colourful finch has been on the increase in the UK, mainly due to changes in feeding habits, enjoying seeds from garden feeders. They ranked #6 in the 2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
A very sociable bird, in autumn they flock in charms of 100+.
They predominantly eat seeds (sunflower and niger among others) but also eat aphids. Males are the only ones who can access the seeds from teasel heads. In Victorian times they were captured in their thousands for caged displays. They can have up to three broods a year and nest in trees and bushes.
Goldfinches Picture by David Evans
Goldfinch Picture by David Evans
In the past my yarden has attracted charms of some 20+ birds. Do you have any goldfinches visiting your feeders? They are such pretty birds.
After draft upon draft of plans, months of research, creating a water feature and stripping bark off tree branches. David has finally finished his aviary and the two Bengalese finches, Chocolate and Romeo have moved in.
Doesn’t it look lovely? It really is a feature in the living room and the finches have settled in nicely.
Caramel the Society Finch was found on the bottom of her cage this morning.
Yesterday I noticed that Caramel was looking decidedly disheveled. Her eyes were bright enough so I thought nothing of it. Caramel has been very friendly with me recently, more so than normal. She would come to the end of the perch and try and get close to me as I was saying hello. Caramel loved boiled egg which I would give to them as a treat and she never flew away when my hand was in the cage to replace their food or water. I had grown very attached to her.
Last night David and I noticed that Caramel was having trouble flying. She would jump to the perches instead of flying to them. She was a lovely little flyer, could hover like a hummingbird and flutter like a butterfly. Caramel could change direction at the last minute and fly at all angles. Though last night she was having trouble. I thought it may have been with her claws as she had long nails. So we cut them but she still persisted in her flying and hit the bottom several times with falling. David noticed her tail feathers were short as if she had plucked them out! We made some adjustments to the cage and set up the nest box for them to settle in. Caramel jumped right into the nest and called out happily.
You will all understand my shock at what I discovered while peering into the cage this morning. There was Chocolate sitting all alone and then I saw Caramel lying on her side on the bottom of the cage. I bawled for a life ended, a soul that had taken flight. I loved how Caramel would be receptive to me and even Chocolate mourned her loss, calling out for a reply that never came. It was the shock of seeing her lifeless body that struck me the most.
My mum dug a little grave for Caramel amongst my Honeysuckle and there she will lie becoming one with the roots and soil.