Our Canaries archives
Our Canaries: Intro / background
Home birds chronology
||Goldie * / Princess
||Princess, Tweety *
||George *, Luciano
||Luciano *, Oliver
||Princess *, Olive *, Lucy *
||Oliver, Pavarotti, Handsome, Duke
||Daisy, Precious, Lucci, Kate
NOTES: * = died during the year.
Underlined = Born (hatched) during the year.
All are/were Canaries, except Tweety, who was a Budgerigar ("parakeet") of unknown gender whom we adopted from relatives, in hopes of restoring its health. It didn't work out.
Goldie (2000 - 2001)
Adopted in June 2000 after she flew into a relative's apartment, evidently a stray. She had a misshapen beak, as the lower half was twisted and virtually useless for chewing, and did not even have a right foot. Sometimes she would perch tranquilly for an hour or more, and sometimes she would get excited and start flying repeated oval patterns around or living room / dining room. She usually kept close to her box next to the back sliding door, and loved to sit in the sunlight for extended periods, watching all the wild birds who came to our feeder on the back porch. Goldie was remarkably tame, and would eat food out of the palm of my hand. Another time she landed on my arm in order to pluck a few strands of wool from my sweater for use in making her nest. She traveled with us to South Dakota in September-October, 2000. Laid 16 eggs altogether. In early 2001 we bought a male canary to keep her company, and she reacted very enthusiastically to George. Only a couple months later, however, she died on March 15, 2001 (the Ides of March) of an apparent infection.
George (2001 - 2008)
Purchased January 20, 2001 (Inauguration Day) in Stuarts Draft, VA. Named in honor of President George W. Bush, but also partly for the late Beatle George Harrison because of his "mop top" crown. At first he didn't know how to fly, and would flap furiously without gaining much altitude, but after a few days of practice he was fine. He and Goldie would fly around the apartment in contented harmony. After a couple weeks he began doing what male canaries are famous for -- singing his little heart out as a way of asserting his territorial dominance in preparation for the breeding season. But soon Goldie died. George was particularly inquisitive and prone to explore (behind the sofa, etc.), much like the monkey named "Curious George."He was a superb singer, but was more subdued during molting months. Preferring privacy when he was tired, he would often rest in our bedroom, or even the bathroom. On January 9, 2008, to our immense sorrow, he died rather suddenly while I was out of town.
Click here to hear a 16-second audio clip of George singing.
Princess (2001 - 2010)
Purchased April 2001 but suffered a tragic leg injury on the day we bought her, which was aggravated by faulty treatment. She gradually got used to flying, but sometimes had a hard time landing because her right leg was lame for life. She had a calm disposition but was sometimes feisty around George, and often called for him loudly when he was not in the same room. She was a prodigious egg layer, but it was all for nought as her lame leg prevented her from coupling properly, so all the eggs were sterile. She suffered further injuries in mid-2008 and August 2009, and had to have her good (left) lower leg amputated on the latter occasion. As she became more frail and helpless, we had to provide more intensive care for her, letting her sip water drops from our finger tips. Nevertheless, she remained fairly spunky and active until the last couple months. She finally died on April 5, 2010 -- during the night after Easter Sunday.
Click here to hear a 30-second audio clip of Princess.
Luciano (2008 - 2010)
About two weeks after George died, we were fortunate to find a male canary in a local pet store. He seemed enegetic and healthy, and bore a strong resemblance to George, though without the crown feathers. We kept the new bird semi-isolated in the cage for a few days so that he and Princess could get to know each other. Little by little we opened the cage door so he could step outside when he wanted, but still retreat to safety. As with George and Princess, it took him a while to get the hang of flying, because he had been in a cage his whole life. We waited a while before we finally settled on a name for him: Luciano, out of respect for late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who passed away in 2007. He has a slight physical deformity: no claw on the back toe of his right foot. Fortunately, it doesn't affect his ability to perch.
30-second audio clip of Luciano singing (NOTE: This is a 544K MP3 file, which can be downloaded.)
Lucy (2009 - 2010)
As Princess became seriously ill in August 2009, we decided to buy a new female companion for Luciano. Because of her resemblance to Luciano, with a somewhat paler shade of yellow, we decided to name the newest avian arrival in the Clem household "Lucy." As a precaution, we kept Lucy in the cage for the first few days so that all three birds could get familiar with each other before. When we finally let Lucy out she started flying without too much difficulty, to our surprise, but learning to land was a bit of a problem. She has an amazing appetite, and loves to eat apple slices. We soon realized that she had a serious breathing problem, and the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian failed to cure the problem. Unfortunately, Lucy remains in mediocre condtion, but she seems to be getting along as best she can. After Princess died, it was just Luciano and Lucy.
Olive (2010 - 2010)
Because Lucy's health steadily declined in late 2009 and throughout 2010, we bought yet another female companion for Luciano, whom we named "Olive" because of her dark greenish color. We could tell something was wrong, however, and she suddenly died within one month.
Egg laying record
|Date||Eggs||Notes on mating, etc.|
|Aug. 17, 2000||3||Goldie (no mate)|
|Oct. 2000||3||Goldie (no mate)|
|Dec. 2000||3||Goldie (no mate)|
|Jan. 2001||3||Goldie; George not "ready"|
|Feb. 2001||4||Goldie; mating with George|
|May 10, 2001||4||Princess; leg injury|
|June 8, 2001||2?||Princess|
|July 1, 2001||3||Princess|
|Oct. 14, 2001||3||Princess|
|Nov. 17, 2001||3?||Princess; egg binding!|
|Jan. 27, 2002||3||Princess|
|Feb. 27, 2002||4||Princess|
|Mar. 28, 2002||1||Princess|
|Apr. 28, 2002||3||Princess|
|May 20, 2002||3.5||Princess; 4th egg lacked shell|
|June 5, 2002||4||Princess|
|July 1, 2002||3||Princess|
|July 26, 2002||4||Princess|
|Sept. 20, 2002||1||Princess|
|Sept. 29, 2002||3||Princess|
|Oct. 24, 2002||4||Princess|
|~Nov. 28, 2002||3||Princess|
|Dec. 11, 2002||3||Princess|
|Jan. 5, 2003||3||Princess|
|Feb 1, 2003||3||Princess|
|Mar. 14, 2003||4||Princess|
|Apr. 14, 2003||3||Princess|
|May 3, 2003||4||Princess; less window flirting|
|May 28, 2003||4||Princess|
|June 20, 2003||3||Princess; quarrelling, flirting|
|July 13, 2003||4||Princess; quarrelling, flirting|
|Aug. 14, 2003||3||Princess; Tweety moved in.|
|Oct. 6, 2003||3||Princess; George molting, not singing|
|Nov. 4, 2003||3||Princess; Tweety died Nov. 9|
|Dec. 3, 2003||3||Princess|
|Dec. 25, 2003||4||Princess; George resumed singing|
|Feb. 1, 2004||3||Princess; new nest on spider plant|
|Feb. 29, 2004||3||Princess; trip to Peru|
|Mar. 23, 2004||4||Princess; George sings loud|
|Apr. 16, 2004||4||Princess; George sings loud|
|May 8, 2004||4||Princess|
|May 31, 2004||4||Princess; George sings loud|
|June 27, 2004||4||Princess; Adopted baby died; George molting|
|Oct. 8, 2004||3||Princess; some molting & singing|
|Nov. 25?, 2004||3*||Princess; One egg broke. Hawks! Singing|
|Dec. 30, 2004||3||Princess; George sings, "explores"|
|Feb. 5, 2005||3||Princess; trip to Costa Rica.|
|Mar. 7, 2005||4||Princess; new nest in spider plant|
|~ Apr. 3, 2005||3||Princess; George sings more|
|May 14, 2005||3||Princess (hurt leg); new nest on shelf|
|June 25, 2005||3||Princess|
|Mar. 17, 2006||2.5||Princess; 3rd egg lacked shell|
|Apr. 14, 2006||2.5||Princess; 3rd egg lacked shell|
|May 13, 2006||3||Princess|
|June 16, 2006||3||Princess, in 4 days. George sings loudly|
|Nov. 26, 2006||2||Princess; one broke. George subdued|
Total eggs laid:
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.