My friend, Rod Williams, was up to the challenge to come over and take some pictures of the finches, something he had never seen before. He instantly fell in love with the Zebras, which I definitely understand, and I do have a collection of their photos now. This was sort of a test run, dealing with flying subjects, overhead and vertical fluorescent lights that washed out pictures, and an automatic focus that couldn't tell the difference between a cage and a bird. We got some decent shots and here are a few of them. There are also some of his pictures with The Safari Room story and at the bottom of The Green Day Diet article is a picture of what the breakfast plate looks like.
It takes a while to get over the fact there are birds on top of a cage, rather than in it. But that's how it is in a hybrid room with closed and open cages and a lot of free flight. It has really helped breeding the wild-caught Africans and domesticating them.
Between the time I spotted a juvenile with a perfect gold breast and Rod got his lens adjusted and in focus, the Goldbreast had decided to preen said breast and make it streaky looking.
Here's a young Gray Singer at one of the several feeding stations. The Grays are easy breeders as long as they have open nests, typical of the breeding style of Carduelan finches.
We just couldn't get the pied/saddleback Zebras to pose to show off their unique markings. This is about the best we could get.
There are other photos that need to be edited from this session and we are planning a second in the near future with some technical changes. Hopefully, there will be more of the non-Zebras.
Be sure to check out the Nests photo page. Rod did a good job on them and it shows the diversity of breeding units that are used in the rooms--some by our invention, some by the birds' creativity.
It didn't take long for the group to gather after the shot on the left was taken. We have Zebras, Cutthroats, Pearl Headed Amadines, Goldbreasts and Painted Firetails in the mix.
Here's another shot of the group. The front Zebra shows off the great color in his feathers and beak that the finches get from eating The Green Day Diet. You can also see the wired-open door of the cage below, which has several nests hanging in it and is a favorite of the Goldbreasts for breeding.
Just one more shot of that gathering place. The underside of the Goldbreast's tailfeathers is very intense in color.
Orange-Cheeked Waxbills love perching on vertical objects--in this case, the cord to the fluorescent fixture.
There are still plenty of closed production cages in the rooms. Their residents seem undisturbed by the flybys and visitors and keep on breeding.