sure how to trim your finch's nails? It is really very simple,
but it can be intimidating if you have never done it before.
Sometimes it helps to see someone else do it first. I have now
posted a video on the Nail
Clipping page illustrating an Orange-Cheeked Waxbill getting
his nails trimmed. Be sure to check it out.
Boto of Portugal has gratiously sent me a copy of his original
article Keeping and Breeding Firefinches
in Portugal (PDF). It is an excellent read. Please take
the time to read this piece and learn a bit about this lovely
African finch species. If you have questions or comments for
the author, feel free to send them to
me and I will forward them on.
The fecal smear article has been updated
with pictures of threadworm
eggs in a sample taken from a red-tailed hawk.
Attention NFSS Members: Robert Mehl has
decided to run for NFSS Treasurer in the upcoming election.
Information about his candidacy can be found on the home
page until the election is over.
A Show Gallery Page has been added for
the 2005 Wisconsin
Cage Bird Club Show with NFSS Finch and Softbill Division
sponsored by the Central Wisconsin Cage and Wild Bird Connection.
Check out my photos from the
2005 Illini Bird Fanciers Show in Springfield, Illini. There
were 115 Finches/Softbills entered!
I've posted a new original article: The
Novice's Guide to Showing Finches.
Everything a novice needs to get started showing finches, including
how to find a show, how to prepare, how to fill out the paperwork,
what happens at the show, what to bring to the show, and how
the birds are judged.
to Do Your Own Fecal Smears article has been updated. Changes
include photos of Avian Gastric Yeast (Megabacteria), which
I detected in one of the birds when I was screening for the
protozoa, and a very low grade video of the protozoa. Note that
the vet has examined a sample of my birds and no evidence of
the protozoa was found. However, I am treating for Megabacteria,
and when that is finished, I will screen all the birds again.
If they come up clean, they will be returned to the aviary.
Hopefully, this will be accomplished in a week.
Protozoa have been detected in a couple
of birds. I believe one of my more recent additions must be
a carrier for the bug, as the only birds that appear to be affected
are long-time residents of the aviary and therefore could not
have introduced it. All the birds have been removed into cages
for treatment and the aviary will be disinfected within the
week. During this time, there will be nothing to see via the
AviCam. I hope to be able to return the birds after treatment,
but it is all dependent on how effective the treatment is. While
this development has been devastating, I am taking the opportunity
to learn as much as I can from it. More information on this
problem will be posted shortly.
I've written a new article: How
To Do Your Own Fecal Smears. Now you can add this tool to
your arsenal as a means of detecting problems early.
- 2005 Update
lot of things have happened over the last year.
sadly, we had to say goodbye to a few of our residents. Unfortunately,
as the aviary grows older, we must prepare for the passing of
some birds. Last year we said goodbye to our remaining masked
grassfinch, our pair of button quail, and our canary. Our original
birds have now been in our care for five years, and many were
not young birds when we acquired them. Therefore, the aviary
is getting older and age is beginning to take a toll on a few
of the birds. But we will continue to provide them with a loving
home, good care, and lots of flight space for as long as we
have the honor of their company.
addition to the losses listed above, our new Gouldian finches
developed an ailment approximately nine days after we acquired
them. The ailment began with a swollen eye and progressed to
respiratory problems and fluffiness very quickly. Despite prompt
and extensive treatment from our avian veterinarian that included
eye ointments, antibiotics, hospitalization at the vet, and
nebulization, the male Gouldian finch passed away. The female's
future looked grim, but to everyone's surprise, including the
vet's, she made a remarkable and sudden recovery. She remains
in quarantine, just in case her illness is chronic. However,
it has been nine months and the symptoms have not returned.
If she continues to be fine for a year, I will consider trying
to find her a mate, as I hate to think of her living her life
alone in a cage. While this was a very trying and depressing
experience, we are very glad we follow a strict quarantine procedure.
Because the illness occured during quarantine, none of our other
birds were exposed. Please, please, please, always remember
to quarantine new birds.
a happier note, we do have some new additions to the aviary.
In October, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to adopt a
Strawberry Finch and a Goldbreasted Waxbill from my local bird
club. The Goldbreast is missing some feathers around the neck,
but I am hoping that with the proper diet, full spectrum lighting,
and a fresh molt, he will recover the missing feathers. If not,
he would not be the first plucked bird to find a home in my
aviary. The strawberry finch has fit right in with the other
strawberries. I will be looking for a mate for the goldbreast
sometime this year. I also purchased an American Singer canary.
I found the aviary was not quite the same without a canary in
the collection, so I was compelled to find myself a new one.
He is very happy and sings up a storm.
the second half of 2004, I haven't had time to provide any significant
updates to the site. This is because I had a lot going on -
much of it related to birds. First, I became involved with the
Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club. I took over as webmaster for
their website, and spent a lot of time redesigning it from the
ground up. The new format is up and running, so while it will
be my responsibility to keep it up-to-date, I will have a lot
of time back for working on FinchAviary.com. Please feel welcome
to visit the GCCBC website here.
male society finch took 3rd in Show at GLAS, as well as
Best Novice, not bad for my first show ever.
I became involved in showing birds. I attended three shows:
The Great Lakes Avicultural Society show in Grand Rapids, MI;
the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club Annual Show in Arlington
Heights, IL; and the National Institute of Red Orange Canaries
show (they also have a finch division), also in Arlington Heights.
I am happy to report that I benched three birds at GLAS (my
male society finch took 3rd), and one bird at GCCBC and NIROC
(one of my male strawberry finches took 2nd at GCCBC). I was
fortunate enough to have been mentored by Darla Dandre, and
soon I will be posting an article on showing finches for novices.
for 2005! EXCITING NEWS!
have decided to build a bird room in my basement. We have walled
off a section of our basement (18 ft by 12 ft). Along one wall
I will build 4 walk-in aviaries 4 ft x 6 ft x ceiling height.
Along the other I will either have breeding cages or tall and
long but shallow flights. I will be trying my hand at breeding
waxbills. I chose waxbills because I love their size, colors,
song, behavior, and demeanor, but also because they can be a
challenge. I love a good challenge, and if they are not very
prolific, I am okay with that - less work for me finding suitable
homes. They can also be housed and bred in a mixed aviary consisting
of other waxbills. Since I prefer keeping birds in aviaries
and large flights over breeding cages, this seemed to be a perfect
fit. I will not be breeding for numbers and profit, but rather
for show quality. It is my goal to breed selectively for color,
conformation, and demeanor, as well as for parenting skills
and vitality. That is the goal, at least. Time will tell how
successful I become. While it is not my goal to produce large
numbers of birds for sale, if I am successful, I will probably
have birds for sale from time to time.
breeding birds will allow me to make this site even more informative
than it is now. I will be adding a subdomain to cover my bird
room and breeding efforts. This site will remain in the existing
format, focusing on keeping finches as pets in a non-breeding
indoor aviary setting. Our aviary will continue to house Australian
grassfinches as well as waxbills. But you will be free to visit
the bird room subdomain for more advanced topics and issues,
most likely specific to keeping and breeding waxbills. The subdomain
will go up when my bird room is ready, sometime later in 2005.
Keep checking in - I will be sure to let you know when it is
up and running.
that about covers it for now. I will be updating the site shortly
with new articles, pictures, and up-to-date information.
Well, it's finally done. The Construction
section along with all other remaining pages have been converted
to the new format! Now I can concentrate on new content!
The new Lady Gouldian Finches have finally
arrived! The are currently in quarantine, but you can check
out the first pictures
section and the Links section
(including the Finch
Article Library) have been converted to the new format.
The article links in the Finch
Article Library have been updated, with broken links removed,
changed links corrected to point to the new address, and links
to sites in the process of reorganizing left alone until reorganization
section has been converted to the new format.
I've configured a script (Perlfect
Search) to handle site searches. The Search
page is no longer powered by PicoSearch.
While PicoSearch provided me with a full featured search engine,
it started advertising on the search results page. It is my
goal to keep this site clean of for-profit advertisements. I've
known about these ads for quite some time, but did not have
the time to research alternatives. Since I've had to tap back
into my CGI knowledge in order to reconfigure my scripts on
the new server, I took this opportunity to replace the search
engine as well. Please let me know
if you experience any problems with the Search functionality.
The Search page has been updated to the new format at the same
We've moved the site to a new server.
Hopefully, this move will be mostly transparent. However, there
might be a couple day period where the site toggles back and
forth between the two servers while the DNS entries are updated
across the Internet. In the process, I've had to configure a
new guestbook script. I took this opportunity to convert the
Guestbook to the new
format. All previous entries should be retained. If you experience
difficulties with the Guestbook, please let
section has been updated with the latest pictures of us and
all pages have been converted to the new format.
section has been updated with the latest pictures and all pages
have been converted to the new format.
I've added a strawberry finch wallpaper
to the Gallery. I'm not crazy about this one, but its the best
I've been able to do so far.
We've changed the settings of the network
camera so that it can be more easily viewed from behind a firewall.
If you have been unable to view the AviCam in the past, try
added another Zebra Finch wallpaper to the Gallery.
Well, it looks like the new webcam is
going to be slower than the old cam. Sorry about this. Unfortunately,
the TeVeo site no longer exists and so the TeVeo software kept
trying to connect to the TeVeo home page and we had to find
something new. However, since 320x240 was slow, I've changed
the settings to 640x480. Interestingly, this is not too much
slower but it produces a much better picture. One of my dialup
users has commented that at least if it is going to be slow,
we might as well get a better picture. So, at least for a while,
I will be broadcasting at 640x480. Feel free to send us your
I've posted an original article in the
Birds section entitled How
to Photograph Birds in an Acrylic Aviary. You will find
some suggestions for getting good shots of your feathered friends
without stressing them out too much. I also offer advice on
what to look for in a camera that will be used for this purpose.
The NEW NETWORK CAMERA is up and running in our aviary! Visit
the AviCam and check it out.
Note that the camera manufacturer, Axis Communications, may
prompt to install a plug in before it will run. I am not sure
if this will happen, so I will have to check it out on someone
else's PC. Just a heads up. Please feel free to contact
us regarding your opinion of the feed (eg, quality needs
to be better, speed needs to be better, picture needs to be
larger, etc). One factor affects the others, so it is a careful
balance I am trying to work out.
I've finally got an initial version of
the image gallery up.
You can now browse some of the images of the birds by clicking
new wallpapers have been added to the gallery,
featuring the Masked Grassfinch and the Society Finch..
Add-a-Link page has
been redesigned. All the spam links have been removed. You now
must e-mail me with your links to get them added. If any of
your links were removed by mistake, please resubmit them and
I will be sure to reinstate them.
introduced two new wallpapers to the gallery.
We now have desktop wallpaper for the zebra finch, owl finch,
and blue-capped cordon bleu.
designed a new look for FinchAviary.com. The home
page has been converted. We will gradually be converting
all the pages to the new format.