June 4, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Canary love: ups and downs

Ever since March, Luciano has been acting so aggressively toward Princess that we have had to keep her in the cage for her own protection. For the past couple weeks, however, his courtship "ardor" seems to have cooled off a little bit, and she in turn has become a little more receptive to his advances. It's still very much an off and on proposition, however, and we still keep a close eye on them, because Princess is lame and can't defend herself very well. Indeed, her one good leg has become noticeably weaker in the past couple months, and she can't hop around very well. Instead, she relies on her wings just to move short distances. Likewise, she is finding it harder and harder to fly because she is missing one or two primary wing feathers. I suppose it's one of the ailments characteristic of older birds.

As for the "young stud," Luciano is gaining more confidence in establishing "his" territorial rights, singing loudly while perched in the window every day. Compared to George (his predecessor), he shows less fear, and he lets us get closer to him than George would. This morning while I was reading the newspaper on the sofa, Luciano flew right next to me and perched on a pillow, where he stood and watched for about 15 seconds. That was pretty remarkable.

Princess, Luciano eating

Princess (left) and Luciano (right) often eat together, and sometimes he will feed her as part of the courtship ritual that is standard for most bird species.