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I knew that one day I would learn moderation but that day hadn't come yet! As i mentioned before, wanting a pet without the responsibility a dog imposes and, though I liked looking at cats, I wasn't a cat 'guy'. Someone suggested birds and I went out March 16, 2002, and bought two budgies--what you call parakeets. They were really a delight and in September 23, 2003. I bought Butch and Sky a large cage. When the maintenance crew trimmed trees I went out and got new perches and I was always buying toys for them.

My doctor had warned me against getting a big bird as since I was on coumindin their bite could cause me to bleed which could mean problems. I would go into the pet shops and 'try out' the bird bites!!! Within time I fell in love with a cockatiel which Jill surprised me by buying for me and I would eventually buy another one to keep the first one company and named them Cassie ("A Chorus Line") and Lola ("Damn Yankees") in a salute to Donna McKechnie and Gwen Verdon. On November 15, 2003, Jill brought over Leader and Spitfire but more about them later.

In May of 2004 I bought 2 finches which I named Sugar and Cream but they died in August. The following month I bought 3 Zebra finches and one mixed breed, 2 males and 2 females--big mistake!!!! I learned very quickly that finches are worse than rabbits--it was long before I had 17 baby finches!!!! I went out and bought a cage with a divider and separated the sexes!!! It is easy to tell the sex on a Zebra Finch as the male (sorry ladies) of bird species are usually the more colorful. Males and females are very similar in size but the males usually have bright orange cheek feathers, red beaks (as opposed to the orange beaks of females), and generally more striking black and white patterns.

As I was to find out females didn't need males to lay eggs and the finches were quite good at that. Of course the eggs were infertile and I learned very quickly not to throw them out but to let the female sit on it as long as she wanted, until she got tired of it not hatching and then would desert it. With budgies and tiels it could cause them to become egg bound which would lead to problems.

This was a whole new world I was discovering along with learning some biology!! It is never too late to learn!

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