When The Unexpected Happens
Many of us have suffered larger than normal calamities with breeding finches at one time or another. If not, you may be new to finches, or just have a couple of pairs. But for those of us who have larger flocks and had enough time pass, we have become victims of situations large enough to grab the passion out of us and set us into depression. How do we handle this?
Each bird we lose is a loved one—some have names, others were our first breeders of a certain species and some we lose just when we think they made it through birth and are on their way to a long finch life. When we lose several all at once, it can become overwhelming. We lose interest in raising our birds, sell off the living and look for a new hobby, or we maintain the living while we look for closure, then pick up where we left off and begin anew.
Sometimes the loss is immediate. One of the best Carduelan Finch breeders we have lost many of his precious and rare birds last year when a faulty heater in his aviary caught fire and the smoke and flames took their toll. Another breeder lost several of her flock when a mysterious virus spread through her flock. It was something carried by pigeons visiting the outside of her aviary. A friend of mine who performs necropsies on birds for her clients was overwhelmed with work this past winter when several viruses spread through her area.
In my case, a fall/injury this past December left me without the use of an arm for several weeks, as well as a pronounced limp. I was barely able to feed and water my birds; cleaning was very limited. A virus spread through my birds in one room and I didn’t catch it in time. The weaker ones simply didn’t make it. What it did was trim down the size of my flock, something that is referred to as “culling.” The passion left me and the only reason I continued was because of the investment I had in the still-living birds.
It’s taken some time for me to regain most of my health, both physical and mental. The passion is returning. The birds that survived are looking great, and the one thing that keeps our interest going has taken place: BABIES! I find myself spending more time in the bird rooms, simply gawking at all of my beautiful finches and wondering how I could have lost interest.
Preparing their diet each day and giving them fresh seed and water has stopped being a chore and become something I look forward to. I see how anxious the birds become, chirping “me, me, me” when I take food dishes off the serving tray. I can hardly wait to see them pile onto their seed cups when they have been filled. And feeling drops of water hit me as they dive into their fresh water to take a bath makes me feel giddy.
The birds sense the change in my outlook. More and more they are landing on my head again, plucking at my hair. They are most happy to recite their songs for me when I walk up to them. Our daily interludes, once again, have become alive.
I guess the clincher for me was when I was looking at a broker’s availability list last week. I had to stop at one point, as the names of finch species I no longer have jumped out at me. I miss them, and hope to once again build up to where we once were.
We all must deal with these calamities in our own way, no matter how severe. But the one thing we do have in common that puts us right is TIME.