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Thursday, September 11, 2014

"A Bird In the Hand Is Worth..."

Tommy Tucker, my canary, has the best seat in the house. His cage sits by a wide window facing a beautiful wooded park. It doesn’t obstruct my view much and at times I’d swear he can picture himself out there flying among the trees. Since we moved here he sings more than he used to. He always sings facing the window and I wonder if he imagines himself to be courting a little wild bird female or staking out his territory. 

Tommy has a lovely song but sometimes it's too loud and disturbs my telephone conversations. No neighbors have complained yet. I’ve told him, “Tommy, I love your singing but maybe you could ration it out a bit.” He didn’t seem to catch my meaning but a couple days ago I found a new toy for him. It’s a small hanging mirror. No, I wasn’t forgetting that one of my bird books said a canary might think he has company and not bother to sing if he had a mirror. Or even get angry to have the “other guy” invading his territory. But what did those bird books know? Birds could be as different in their likes and dislikes as people. So, I gave the mirror a try.

Well, Tommy was fascinated. He gazed into the mirror and chirped softly. He even sang a low sweet trill to his visitor. He might have been saying, “So, here you are, the one I’ve been singing to. You finally came! It’s so good to know there’s someone who looks like me.” He hardly remembered to eat his treats that day. No more loud singing, just chirping conversations.

I hadn’t meant to cut off his singing. It’s the main reason I wanted a canary, but I felt for him. I put myself in his place. Wouldn’t I love to have company, even if “she” mimicked me and didn’t seem to have a mind of her own? The ways I’ve solved it for the present is by putting the mirror in after cleaning his cage and giving him fresh food and water. So far it has not brought his song back, but when I took the mirror out yesterday his songs resumed. “Where have you gone, my friend? Come on back!” And I'm saying, "What do I do now?" 

For the time being I think I’ll wait and see how those "two" get along. There’s a slightly smaller look-a-like male canary in the pet store. He’s been there for months and they’ve even cut the cost of him in half. Every time I go in the store I look to see if he's found a home. Might Tommy be up for some real company? I know he'd prefer a female, but am I up to breeding birds? No. Somehow I don’t think this story has ended. I’ll keep you posted.  


  1. Hmmm? Maybe he'll turn out to be the first "openly gay" Canary in The Willows?? Just kidding, Tommy!! I think you, and the mirror, and less loud singing is a perfect solution!

    1. Wally, I'm with you. It's too chancy to get another bird and twice the work.