July 26, 2008 [LINK / comment]

"Assisted living" for Princess

No longer able to fly very much or even move while she's on the floor, Princess requires more and more care all the time, the older she gets. We've had her for over seven years, and she is probably almost eight -- more than an average life span for most canaries. She spends most of the day in the same place, usually in the dirt of a flower pot, and in the evening, we put her in the nest to sleep. She never has gotten used to being handled, no matter how gentle we are. The two missing primary feathers of her right wing are starting to grow again, but we are afraid that the roots are permanently damaged, and those feathers may never grow back to normal. Thus, she may never fly again.

Even though Princess is usally subdued or listless these days, there are days when she gets more energetic, chirping and flirting with Luciano. This is molting season, when their old feathers are shed and get replaced, so neither of them is in the mood for mating. It's a relief for us that he hasn't been harrassing her as much as he did during the spring. As evidence of her spunky character, sometimes she even tries to sing like male canaries do. I recorded her awkward "singing" the other day, submitted for your amusement:

Click here to hear a 30-second audio clip of Princess.

Princess getting a bath in the sink

Princess is not happy about getting help with bathing, but proper hygiene is for her own good.