No canaries were harmed in this story.
Shall we have a story about what really happens at Tracy’s house? It is a difficult story to tell because I’m not sure we are doing the right thing by our pet canary. He used to be one of a small flock of house canaries. The little flock had a lovely life together, with free flight across the lounge room, luxurious baths, fresh greens picked for them from the garden, and seed treats, before being tucked into their cages for the night. Life was rosy but, like us, the little birds got old, until, only one, Pan of the wild song, remained.
Pan was never meant to live with us, but he needed rescuing, so I brought him home. He had a broken leg, which by rights should have dropped off, but didn’t. Then he broke his wing at our place. Long story for another day maybe? The obituary perhaps? But we are not there yet. Pan too is a little, old bird now. He has retired from free flight and now is confined to the old canary folks home. He has been on his own – well, he has us – for a year now. Normally he sleeps in his seed dish, but here he is, having a snooze near me.
Sometimes when I see him like this, I think it might be his last snooze. But no. It is difficult to snooze on your perch when you have a broken foot/claw, a broken wing and your feathers are not in peak condition any more.
Is it cruel to keep him with us, alone and without canary companionship? I’m not sure, but the avian vet said that now was not the time to get another friend for him, and despite this photo, he still has a reasonable quality of life for an old bird. When he can’t get up on his perch again, I think it will be time to say goodbye. My True Love sets Pan up each day so that he can look outside and catch the afternoon sun. Pan loves the sun. He always lets me know when there is something going on outside. He neeps when he gets visitors. Before the pandemic, my friend, L, used to drop over with greens and Pan would neep excitedly when he saw her walk to the house. Carrot tops. Yum, yum.
Pan gets other visitors too.
He neeped a lot that day. However, it wasn’t the usual alarm call. It was more “Oh look, another bird here to talk to me. We look the same. Maybe I’m a cockatoo?”
Speaking of alarm calls, we have been inundated with Pied Currawongs the last couple of years. I thought they might move on after the drought broke, but no. They like it here. There are plentiful fruit trees, including many rampaging fruity weeds in the area. There are not, however, enough small protein snacks for this prolific breeder. Hence, the privacy screen for Pan. Still, the screen is not high enough. The currawongs tap on the window. Pan calls out in alarm and whichever human is nearby, chases the currawongs away.
It is tough being a small bird in this neighbourhood but being with your flock makes it easier. Good food, clean water, sun and a song – there’s nothing better.
Take care of your bird buds, ladies and gentlemen, and they will take care of you.