Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Seeing Pearl

Pearl's patterns have changed in recent weeks.  She spends more time on the floor of the cage than she used to.  She has not been seen swinging on the swing in quite a while.  She rarely uses the perches.

Leonard and Pearl

What can it mean?  She doesn't seem ill.  She is eating and drinking and bathing.  No puffed up feathers or lethargy.  When there is a bit of fresh food clothes-pinned to the wall of the cage, Pearl finds it, eats it.  She and Leonard still groom each other, they continue to spend nights nestled in their grit cup. 

Wait a minute!  Her eyes look different.  There is a cast.  That glow of light present in the eye of a bird does not move as Pearl moves.  There is instead, a small dull circle on each of her eyes.  Great balls of illumination!  Could it be that Pearl is blind?!

Now, didn't I read somewhere that light pigmented Society (aka Bengalese) Finches are prone to blindness?  Let's see now, according to Northwest Bengalese Finches it is a misconception that albinos have eye problems.  They do however, have trouble with bright light due to lack of pigment in the eye- albinos have pink eyes.  Very interesting, but Pearl has black eyes.  She is not albino. 

Again, according to this Bengalese breeder, it IS true that white birds, particularly white pieds with fawn ancestry, tend to have eye problems as they get older.  They tend to get cataracts.  Pearl is a white bird, is she a pied of fawn ancestry?  The only way to find out would be to breed her and look at her offspring.  We won't be doing that.  Pearl is an old gal with cataracts.

It's OK.  Pearl will be just fine. Leonard is there for her.


  1. At first I thought she might be pregnant. I'm glad Leonard is there.

  2. Leonard no doubt intuitively understands and is helping her along nicely. Animals really do have that way.

  3. It's good that she has Leonard. I wish Sam had had a mate or a bird buddy. Next time, I'll adopt TWO birds.

  4. I didn't think birds can go blind. That would be a disaster in the wild. Sad story.

  5. awwww sweet Pearl. I am so happy the Leonard.

    cheers, parsnip