Oh, here we are again. Please see the favorite bird thread that predated this question. Here is an update on our finch population. The last of Winston's sons crossed over the Rainbow Bridge about six weeks ago (Winston, Jr.) I knew it when I walked down the stairs into my study when I heard an out of tune squawk (of his partner, Julianne). He was ten years old. Junior had taught his Dad's songs to the two other, younger zebra finches in our three-cage setup. But now the old fellow was gone, and his mate was chirping off-key. Back to the finch breeder I go and examined the five zebra males available. The closest to a Silverback I saw was a light colored fellow that seemed energetic. As I was getting ready to put him in the cage, the female (that was Junior's mate) escaped and flew around the study. So, I put the new finch in the cage by himself. Well, he looked around and saw a pair of finches (boy and girl) to his right and left, and realized he was alone. So he began a machine-gun-Kelly rat-a-tat-a-tat set of chirps, as if in protest. He kept that up all night. The female (Julianne) was still flying aorund the study. I set up a 4th cage with an open door and food and water inside. The next morning, as is my custom, I crept into the study at daybreak to find Julianne in the cage with the food and water, and closed the door. Machine-Gun-Kelly was still squaking staccato chirps. So, I caught Julianne and placed her in the cage with Machine-Gun-Kelly, and he immediatly burst into song! His own song, quite diffwerent from Winston's. It is a beautiful, new song. One of the other male finches (who memorized Winston's song) (Harry) has also memorized the rat-a-tat-tat machine gun chirps (sigh!).
As I have remarked on the earlier thread, the finches (three pairs kept in three cages) get to free range around my study once each three days. Each morning they are back in their cages.
Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear