Thursday, January 13, 2011


In the days before radio and stereo and those I Pod things, people kept caged birds for their song. Maybe this is why Canaries aren't the popular pet they used to be. That seems sad. Talk about live music! Call me old fashioned. Call me a throw back. But don't call me late for...never mind.

I've had the privilege of living with a Canary. Jean-Pierre would burst into song frequently and spontaneously. His voice was soothing, melodic and darn wonderful to behold. Whenever he sang, it was a lot like when somebody you're fond of reaches out and touches your forearm. A small gesture that reminds you that everything is all right. A little Canary has that power.

Jean-Pierre passed away leaving our home without song. He is survived by four Zebra Finches. Zebra Finches have a different vibe than Canaries. The Zebras are more active, you might say, more flighty. They don't sing but sort of chirp and break into short riffs. Often these vocalizations are in response to sounds in the house. The beep that announces that the coffee is done causes a mild ruckus. Sneezing and nose blowing makes them chatter. What's interesting is, it doesn't seem to be a certain tone or pitch that sets them off. The oven timer rarely makes them cheep and it is close in sound to the coffee maker timer, at least to my non avian ears.

These birds share a house with dogs. Yes, barking makes the birds join in the alarm but only the biggest dog's bark. That deep big dog bark - a far cry from the high pitched coffee maker beep.

Finches are interactive speakers. I haven't figured out the pattern to the outbursts. Guess that's part of the fun. More fun than an i Pod.


  1. Oh you reminded me of Hansie, the sweetest singing canary in the universe. It was horrible losing that voice. A hollow sounding void filled the house and made us sad for years.

  2. I have a grey cheek parakeet (looks like a tiny parrot). Sam just turned 21. Up until now, he's always been healthy. Now, he's arthritic, can barely climb--but insists upon doing so anyway. My once-plump bird is now just a bundle of feathers, even though he eats like a pig. He's chewed a large number of those feathers off one wing. I realize he's old and may not have much time left, but that's going to be hard to deal with.

  3. Love the post. Keep them coming. A stylish blogger award for you from me@

  4. Hansie is singing in Heaven...maybe he and Jean-Pierre do occasional duets!

    Norma- I know how hard it is to see a beloved friend get old and less vital. Here's wishing you and sweet Sam as many happy days together as possible.

    Rena- thank you very much for this award! Golly, a stylish blogger? Me? I am tickled!