ולדוברי האנגלית שבינינו,
ניתן להצטרף לחוויה הלימודית בפורומים הבאים ביאהו:
Hello from the chilly, nasty, cooold,
shivering Garden State. Yesterday the temperature dropped below 50.
Bright and early this morning it was very cold and nasty. Poor birds in
the wild! Poor birds in our cages! They don't know if they should drop
an egg or drop a feather. This is very confusing this year.
Nevertheless, the green vegetation is so beautiful dandelions,
chickweed, and other seeding weeds are plentiful everywhere. Yesterday
while I was in my estate in Warren, NJ, I cut in the fields a couple
bushels of rye, fescue, and other grasses in the seeding stage. The
Gouldian Finches and other similar birds had a feast this morning. Even
the Goldfinches and other Carduelan species chew on the little seed of
the grasses with pleasure. Still, despite all of this attention, they
show no interest to build a nest as yet. Eventually they will decide to
do something I hope. If not, there is always next year.
The Gouldian Finches, as well as other
similar birds, as soon as we put these long stem grasses in their cages,
after they eat the little seed, they immediately carry their stems in
their nest box to build a nest. Some of the Finches build a colorful
nest with the combination of green grasses, shredded burlap bags pieces,
and goat hair.
The proper nesting material determines
success in breeding many species of birds. Observing the nests that
birds build in their wild state, they start by using lots of rough
material, such as roots from trees and grasses, which are available in
cultivated fields. Then they gather fine material such as grass, animal
hair, and other material, which are available in the wild. They build a
beautiful, strong nest that allows air circulation so that the eggs are
properly incubated and the youngsters hatch successfully.
Some manufacturers in Europe promote and
sell nest pads made out of Styrofoam material supplying the birds with
shredded cotton as nesting material. The breeding birds build a nest
that you can drink out of. I have seen many fellow fanciers breed
Canaries and Carduelan Finches with these nests and nesting material
resulting in youngsters welded on the bottom of the nest, squashed by
their parents, in my opinion this was caused by the lack of air
I visited my friend Franco Gobbi who
every year successfully breeds a couple species of Cardinals. He
supplies the birds with cotton and other animal hairs as nesting
material. The Cardinals rather lay the eggs on the wicker baskets with
no built nest, than use the cotton as a nesting material. I have seen
nests of Cardinals with five fertile eggs that hatched successful in
this wicker basket nest.
Myself, as well as many other friends
that I know in Europe, have been trying to imitate the wild state and
supply the same material the birds use in their wild habitat. A couple
weeks ago we roto tilled my fields and I and some of my helpers, compete
with the wild birds in gathering the roots from grasses and trees. The
wild birds simply attacked the cultivated fields and stole a good
portion of the roots for their own nests. Let's use nature as a
guideline to achieve the best success in breeding all species of birds.
When I was very young, I observed many
species of breeding birds in the wild state of Australia. For example, I
observed quite a few nests of Gouldian Finches at the end of the
breeding season. The nesting material in the cavity of the trees was so
rough. It was built out of twigs, roots, and grasses. I also saw nests
of Zebra Finches, whose nests were built in the same way as the
Gouldians, rough. I have seen many open nests in trees of many species
of birds, not only in Australia, but all throughout South America and
other parts of the world. Always the nests were started with twigs,
roots, and other rough material and were gradually finished up with
finer, softer material. It was always obvious that air circulation was
the primary concern of the birds in the wild state.
In my property in Warren a couple years
ago I discovered a couple nests of abandoned American Goldfinches. Both
nests, one on each end of the property, were full of water after a heavy
rain. The young actually drowned in that well built nest. The American
Goldfinch and other seed eating birds normally breed in late summer. At
that time of the year, here in the Garden State, as well as other areas
of the country, including California, the birds breed in late summer
when rainfall is not so plentiful. The youngsters, because of the
bountiful supply of a variety of seeding weeds such as a variety of
thistle, wild sunflowers and other, they grow very rapidly and fledge
successfully. However, when heavy rains, thunder, wind, storms occur,
like on Wednesday, it undoubtedly destroys a lot of wild bird nests?
Lucky for those birds that are kept in our cages in our bird rooms,
handled and maintained by responsible bird fanciers.
While the weather is cold and chilly,
the heat is on in the bird room and everything is doing great. When the
heat goes off and the warm weather approaches, lots of caution must be
used in handling our birds. Moist food goes bad very rapidly during the
hot, muggy weather. Use caution. Do not allow birds to eat spoiled food.
It will kill the youngsters and make the adults very sick, resulting in
the abandonment of their youngsters. Even the dry seed must be stored
properly in a dry cool place and not on the floor of a damp basement.
The seed must be kept dry and ventilated. Purchase only a sufficient
amount of seed that will last you less than a month. Responsible seed
manufacturers store their seed in dry, cool conditions to avoid mildew
from developing. Toxins in moldy seed can be detrimental to the health
of the birds.
In my bird room, we keep a couple spray
bottles filled with 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. We spray the
corners, the floor, sterilize the feeding cups and drinking tubes. In my
opinion, bleach is the best germicide of all, and cheap too! In my bird
room we use at least a couple containers per week. We wash everything in
bleach water. When we gather greens and we are not certain if they are
pesticide and contamination free we spread the greens on a wire mesh
box, we spray them thoroughly with the bleach solution and let them stay
that way for about ten minutes or so, then we wash them thoroughly with
the garden hose to flush all the bleach away. It can be done even in the
kitchen sink using a spaghetti strainer. We do use a spaghetti strainer
when we have a small amount of contaminated greens. I would definitely
sterilize all the greens originated from the supermarket. Yes, you can
just wash and feed them, but why take the risk? Better to be safe than
sorry. Again, to each his own.
On Tuesday the 22nd of May I will be
flying to Europe on a business trip. I will be visiting and listening to
laments by many European fellow fanciers. Hopefully on my return, I will
be able to share with you all the good and bad things and anything else
that I learned from others. You know, we learn from each other.
If you are not a member of the following
groups, please join and be part of the learning experience.
Best regards to all,