Finch TV


Following a bit of reorganizing, the Society finches have gained a bird’s eye view of the aquarium. In an unexpected twist, they have developed a fascination for watching lazy, tetras swim endless, gentle circles, the finch version of television.

If I didn’t know better I’d say the tetras watch the birds but that would be a real stretch. It is more likely the fish see the motion and keep an eye on the source. But maybe that is giving them too little credit.

Rumor has it some juvenile Societies will be looking for homes soon and it is tempting to expand the flock. Thing One would have flying companions for Thing Two* is unable to match him in flight. Thing Two would have more friends to cuddle for warmth as well as camaraderie. Thing One is not always amenable to close contact you see. Thus both birds could benefit from a new cage mate or two.

But will the new mates appreciate finch TV? Picture all of them lined up on a perch, like kids on a sofa playing video games, oblivious to anything but the aquarium action. Hopefully, they won’t turn that attention towards me. On second thought, maybe it is only fair considering how much time I spend watching them. Call it Inkophile TV – It’s for the birds!

Society Finches at Classic Design Aviaries

Society Finches at Classic Design Aviaries

*Now that the spring molt has ended, that time when birds replace old feathers with new ones, it is certain Thing Two has no proper flight feathers on her right wing. Due to a new placement of perches and swings laid out to encourage activity, she has gained strength and learned to get around nicely. She has developed a circuit that includes substantial hopping and sliding down cage bars with a bite of food as reward. Then an upward leap to the lowest manzanita perch and here we go again.

Once in a while she eyes the perches on the other side with much foot shuffling and wing lifting and the occasional leap of faith only to land with a soft thud on the cage floor halfway across the span. Her efforts are admirable but in vain. Undaunted, the old girl will take a couple of steps to make up the difference and leap up to the desired perch. I expect she is pleased to arrive at her destination despite the inelegant route.



  1. I suspect the Tetras ARE watching the birds. When I was little, my school of Tetras learned to follow my hand for feeding, flee from Mom’s [the dreaded tank cleaning monster!], and ignore my cat, who knew the tank was covered and left it alone other than flopping down against the coolness on hot days.


    • Well, there you go. I like the idea of critter TV being mutual. Everyone should have some form of pleasing entertainment in life. Right now one of the tetras is watching Thing One shake off the water from his weekly bath, a head dunk in the water bowl. It is rather amusing as he intersperses the shower of sprinkles with finch song and tweets. He must be telling the world how handsome he is now that he is clean and well-groomed. The tetra seems suitably impressed.


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