I adopted Wolfgang, a female canary, a few years ago. I thought she was a boy, hence the name. The little bird was being attacked by a coalition of noisy mynas when she was rescued by an animal rescue person. Despite being terrified of the noisy mynas when she first arrived (the buggers tried to bomb her out in my aviary, too), she is now super brave and bolshie.
Wolfgang is a lesson in patience and resilience. Canaries have a rather unfounded reputation for being fragile little things, but she has survived despite the odds. At first, she could only manage a few minutes a day before bringing her inside out of the reach of prolonged attacks by coalitions of native noisy miners, but now she’s worked out they can’t get to her. I swear sometimes she flicks them a (feathered) birdie as they squawk in outrage just out of reach on the other side of the aviary wire!
She’s feisty – and I’ve gone from being worried having her in an enclosure with my 22-year-old cockatiel, Nomad, to occasionally having to tell her off for haranguing him. Wolfgang is suspected to have some kind of cancer but she’s pretty cheerful and is kicking on. She and Nomad get brought inside every night but during the day they are in a large enclosure outside.
I have grown to love many things about Wolfgang. The joy she has in her daily bath; her kooky little whistle; the way she puffs herself up into an incredibly fluffy (headless) tennis ball when she’s sleeping or how she buzzes about like a Tweety Bird cartoon bird; the way she extends her little legs like the Gadgetmobile and sticks up for herself in the face of dangers twice her size – to the fact she’s probably quite ill. But as the vet said, Wolfgang ‘is loving life’ and this is a pretty cool little reminder to just keep going.
Message to Rescue
Many people are woefully unprepared for the realities of keeping and caring for a bird. Unfortunately, a high percentage of the general public also have this romantic notion that a caged bird would be better let ‘free’ to live a ‘happy’ life in the wild.
I cared for a beautiful galah for a few months who had presumably been ‘set free’, who had obviously been hand-raised and who had clipped wings! As a vet nurse said, most domesticated birds ‘set free’ will likely have 1 of 3 possible outcomes: they will be killed by a car, killed by another bird, dog or cat; or they will find another human to take care of them.
There are so many birds available to adopt through rescue so thanks to all the rescue groups and volunteers for being a carer for a bird – birds being another example of some of the stunning souls we share this earth with.