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Archives, 2004

Home Birds archives

Egg laying record

DateEggsNotes on mating, etc.
Aug. 17, 20003Goldie (no mate)
~Oct. 1, 20003Goldie (no mate)
~Dec. 1, 20003Goldie (no mate)
~Jan. 30, 20013Goldie; George not "ready"
~Feb. 28, 20014Goldie; mating with George
May 10, 20014Princess; leg injury
June 8, 20012?Princess
July 1, 20013Princess
Oct. 14, 20013Princess
Nov. 17, 20013?Princess; EGG BINDING!
Jan. 27, 20023Princess
Feb. 27, 20024Princess
Mar. 28, 20021Princess
Apr. 28, 20023Princess
May 20, 20023.5Princess; 4th egg lacked shell
June 5, 20024Princess
July 1, 20023Princess
July 26, 20024Princess
Sept. 20, 20021Princess
Sept. 29, 20023Princess
Oct. 24, 20024Princess
~Nov. 28, 20023Princess
Dec. 11, 20023Princess
Jan. 5, 20033Princess
Feb 1, 20033Princess
Mar. 14, 20034Princess
Apr. 14, 20033Princess
May 3, 20034Princess; hasty, less window "flirting"
May 28, 20034Princess
June 20, 20033Princess; quarrelling and "kissing." George sings loud!
July 13, 20034Princess; quarrelling and flirting
Aug. 14, 20033Princess; Tweety moved in.
Oct. 6, 20033Princess; George molting, not singing.
Nov. 4, 20033Princess; Tweety died Nov. 9
Dec. 3, 20033Princess
Dec. 25, 20034Princess; George resumed singing!
Feb. 1, 20043Princess; new nest on spider plant
Feb. 29, 20043Princess; our trip to Peru!
Mar. 23, 20044Princess; George sings loud!
Apr. 16, 20044Princess; George sings loud!
May 8, 20044Princess
May 31, 20044Princess; George sings loud!
June 27, 20044Princess; Adopted baby died. George molting, not singing
Oct. 8, 20043Princess; some molting, some singing
Nov. 25?, 20043*Princess; One egg broke. Hawks! Some singing.
Dec. 30, 20043Princess; George sings some, mischief "exploring."
Feb. 5, 20053Princess; trip to Costa Rica.
Mar. 7, 20054Princess; new nest in spider plant.
~ Apr. 3, 20053Princess; George sings more.
May 14, 20053Princess (hurt leg); new nest on shelf.
June 25, 20053Princess
Mar. 17, 20062.5Princess; 3rd egg lacked shell
Apr. 14, 20062.5Princess; 3rd egg lacked shell
May 13, 20063Princess
June 16, 20063Princess, in 4 days. George sings loudly.
Nov. 26, 20062Princess; one broke. George more subdued.

Total eggs laid: 158½
None of the eggs have hatched. In almost every case, Goldie and Princess laid one egg each on the successive days following the first date listed above. A few times they skipped one or two days. Some of the numbers of eggs are guesstimates; "~" means approximate date.

Andrew Clem archives

December 1, 2004 [LINK]

"Anchors away!"

Tom Brokaw bid farewell as NBC News anchorman this evening, and thankfully refrained from any attempt to be profound. He also managed to avoid any tear-shedding, as happened on his appearance on the Today show, where he got his start. In all the historic vignettes that were replayed in his honor, I was surprised that nothing was said of his coverage of the 1972 McGovern campaign, when he first drew national attention. That assignment was natural, since Brokaw is from South Dakota. Of the three current network anchormen, he stands alone in terms of journalistic integrity and just plain decency. Rush Limbaugh ran several clips of past moments he shared on the air with Mr. Brokaw today, and had some surprisingly warm words for him.

By sheer coincidence, as I was cleaning up Princess and George's room this evening, I noticed how they paid selective "respects" to the other two news anchors, the shamefully partisan Dan Rather and Peter Jennings. This was from the November 24 Washington Post article about Dan Rather's departure next March, and the photo was of a panel forum held by the three anchors in October. I swear, this photograph was NOT doctored (!), and the bird "events" were not contrived or staged in any way.

Andrew Clem archives

November 22, 2004 [LINK]

More eggs; Singin' in the rain

Princess laid more three eggs last week, but one of them broke. Once again, she is brooding contentedly on her nest, chirping constantly whenever George is near. Here is a 20-second movie (Apple QuickTime format) of George, "Singin' in the rain," just last Friday; the constant chirping by Princess can also be heard. The first four seconds are focused on the background outside.

Andrew Clem archives

November 5, 2004 [LINK]

George loves Broccoli

George, broccoli UPDATE: I forgot to mention one of the reasons for my confidence in Bush's reelection: Our canary George, who is named after the President (since we bought him on Inauguration Day 2001), was singing more robustly than usual on Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps it was because of all the broccoli we've been feeding him lately. Quite unlike George H. W. Bush (the Elder), our George just loves broccoli!

October 31, 2004 [LINK]


Halloween Pumpkin This was the first Halloween that Princess and George have celebrated, as far as I can recall. To see their wary reaction to this Edvard Munch-inspired "Scream" Jack-O-Lantern, click on the photo. What was their "treat"? Basil flowers!! Notice how clear the window is compared to past photos from their room? New glass! Hence the fine quality up-close Goldfinch photo I took earlier today. (Too bad they've lost their bright yellow breeding plumage.)


Here (above) begin the systematized "blog" entries.

October 13, 2004 George & Princess at new nest After a three month respite from attempts at reproduction, Princess started building a nest again last week, and has just laid three eggs. She and George are still molting a little bit, but their energy levels are more or less back to normal. George sings now and then, and except for the time he spends guarding Princess at her nest, he is very active.

July 26, 2004 George started molting last week, and for a while we were worried by how weak and listless he had become. Fortunately, he started to improve just before we left on our short trip to NYC. Birds need plenty of rest and special dietary supplements to replace their feathers during this stressful time. Princess gave up on her latest clutch of eggs after a record three-week incubation effort. Now she is in flirting mode, looking for a different place to sleep each night, and has begun molting as well.

June 22, 2004 Baby That poor, helpless baby bird we "adopted" died over the weekend, probably because of the wrong diet. We'll never know what species it was. Generally speaking, it is best to leave alone any fledgling birds you may find on the ground, since they routinely fall out of their nests before they can fly and their parents usually stay close by. That was not the case in this situation; Jacqueline found this hatchling in a driveway, and it would have died in a matter of hours. Princess has now resumed her old routine of flirting in the window, refurbishing her nest, and quarrelling with George over romantic issues once again.

June 17, 2004 I think that little bird just might make it. It squeaks and thrashes about quite vigorously, and usually has a good appetitite. Having a lame leg, unfortunately, Princess has to be careful when she nestles down to keep her adopted "offspring" warm. She is very protective but still doesn't feed it. Details to follow...

June 15, 2004 Baby Could it be ... the blessed event we've been waiting for??? Princess is obviously delighted and very attentive, but doesn't seem to know how to feed the baby, even though she can see fledgling grackles and sparrows being fed by their parents right outside her window. So, we have to help with feeding chores, using an eye dropper. It's too early to say whether or not things will turn out well, so stay tuned.

That photo of George I posted on the Fenway Park page yesterday was taken, transferred to the Mac, edited, and uploaded to the Web server in less than ten minutes -- while he was still perched on that lamp!

June 9, 2004Princess laid four more eggs this week, which makes 22 so far this year. George is still singing regularly, and has recently gotten into the habit of flying into my office, apparently enjoying the songs being played on iTunes. The louder the volume, the louder he sings.

Apr. 23, 2004 Princess laid four more eggs this week, while George is singing more and more vigorously all the time, no doubt provoked by the outside songbirds that are engaging in their springtime mating rituals.

Mar. 27, 2004 Princess just laid four more eggs, and all the reproductive activity -- coupled with all the springtime songs of the outside birds -- has provoked George into frequent, loud, exuberant singing. Playing my new charango seems to get him going, too. Fortunately, both of them seem more or less adjusted to the frequent loud noise from all the construction activity out back. Most of the wild birds stay away whenever the workers are close by. The male goldfinches are starting to turn bright yellow, another sure sign of spring.

Mar. 3, 2004 Princess has laid three eggs, but she and George are very nervous about all the big earth-moving equipment rumbling around outside their window.

Feb. 8, 2004 After a few weeks of restless, irritable indecision on where to build a new nest, Princess finally laid three eggs over the past week. She ended up shunning the wicker basket which she used to use as a foundation, and built her new nest -- made of cotton wads and string -- is on top of a spider plant. George is excited by all the "seductive" chirps from Princess, and he has been singing and flying about fairly regularly. We recently put a thistle seed mesh sock feeder right in front of their window, and goldfinches regularly stop by to feed there.

Princess, George, & Tweety Jan. 20, 2004 As of today it has been exactly three years with President George "Dubya" Bush AND with George, our pet canary. George flew into my office today and really sang up a storm, apparently responding to the songs from the Byrds and others I've downloaded from Apple's Music Store and have been playing on my iMac.


From August until November, Princess and George had a visitor
named "Tweety," whom we adopted from relatives.