View Full Version : Finch advice needed - desperate

24th Mar 2002, 21:11
Lots of Australians here. Might be some experience here. Seems worth a try.. .. .My son's science teacher breeds finches. Last month we agreed to let my son take home a baby Zebra Finch.. .. .Nice, funny bird - a bit noisy. All went well until this morning. My younger son woke me up to tell me that the bird had escaped.. .. .This bird is quicker than me, cagier than me, and has impeccable survival instincts. The finch book I have suggests two strategies. One is to attract him with a female Zebra Finch. At the least that would double my bird problems and these birds are apparently prolific so a female would probably be a bad idea.. .. .The other suggestion was to shine a flashlight at him. According to the book it was supposed to freeze the finch. Yeah right. All it did was agitate the bird and make him more suspicious of me.. .. .This bird has horrible manners. White spots are appearing on the carpet. My wife's suggestion of opening up the front door is becoming more attractive but I'm afraid we must capture the bird alive for the sake of my younger son's conscience. Right now the little [email protected] is perched on a ceiling fan over my head, mocking me.. .. .I understand Australia has banned the export of its native birds since 1960. From my point of view that is like locking the stable door after the horse has escaped. If Australia wants to repatriate all its expat birds then I would like to cooperate. But I must catch the little [email protected] first.. .. .Anybody have any tips?

24th Mar 2002, 21:36
What ever you do, don't turn the ceiling fan on.. . <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />

24th Mar 2002, 21:46
This is a pure guess as I've never bred birds (Slasher keep it clean!!) Wait until dark,most birds slow down for nighttime. Get a butterfly or fish landing net and a red bicycle lamp, the red lamp won't diturb him as much as a white torch, and nab the little so and so. If it doesn't work at least you'll have something to add to the 'most embarrassing' thread currently running on JB.. .PS remove all the crystal animals/champagne flutes/ vases/ table lamps etc before commencing operation Finch Finder. If said operation is a failure, move to plan 'B'. operation 'Cat Capture'. Not quite so popular with your son though I'm sure.

24th Mar 2002, 22:42
well, once a bluebird came in through an open window.. flew around the house, making good entertainment for the cats of the house... (I never knew that cats, when tracing a roughly circular trajectory around a room can nearly run on vertical walls!) Finally caught the thing by tossing a blanket over the potential cat-toy, and grabbing the struggling lump. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

25th Mar 2002, 03:08
As it is Australian, have you tried offering the little darlin' a pint. Drink is a sure fire way to bring Australian males to your side - works like a magnet.. .. .Whatever you do though, don't offer it food. I'm told on good authority that certain Australian wildlife - eats roots, shoots and leaves.. . . . <small>[ 24 March 2002, 23:12: Message edited by: Velvet ]</small>

25th Mar 2002, 03:13
Velvet!!!!. .. .A very serious error!!!!!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> . .. .Offer the bird a pint of Fosters or XXXX - no REAL Aussie would drink that warm stuff your English seem to favour!!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" />

25th Mar 2002, 03:40
Duke Of Wellington's advice to HM Queen Victoria on the problem of sparrow in the enclosure at Crystal Palace:-. .. ."Try sparrowhawks, Ma'am"

25th Mar 2002, 10:52
As the little fella is a native Aussie, he may require a more natural method of containment. (Learnt this after spending 20 years with the Tjumantira tribe located just on the other side of Uluru.). .The Aussie bushfire is a regular and natural occurrence in this birds natural habitat, it may come to no surprise that this is the best way to round up and move him on out.. .If you donít have pot plants, just go out into your Ö garden? Collect some bushes and plants, bring them all into your living area. Spread the vegetation around and then set fire to the carpet.. .Do this at night with all the lights off except for one room, to which the doorway is open with a bird net is stretched across the opening.. .By the time your living area is a promising inferno, the little sucker will make a move for the open doorway and will inevitably be arrested in the net.. .The next steps are most critical to the birdsí ultimate survival.. .. .1. Move your hand toward him from the rear. Totally encompass the bird with your hand, not squeezing too hard but just hard enough that he cannot escape. If you make sure that his head is covered with your fingers, he will be calmer. . .2. Run.. .. .Of course, houses in the Aussie outback dont exactly come at a premium,if the cost of your house makes this a prohibitive venture, then Ö. .. .Another alternative is to turn the fan on full, turn all the lights on, light a couple of strings of Chinese crackers and then quickly depart. Make your way directly to the nearest pet shop and quickly get a replacement.. . . . <small>[ 25 March 2002, 06:55: Message edited by: sprocket ]</small>

Feeton Terrafirma
25th Mar 2002, 14:03
My son claims to breed zebra finches. Actually I've never seen him doing it at all, yet they multiply with great rapidity. I therefore conclude that they breed themselves. Either way they are a dime a dozen as the yanks would say. Mind you a dime is worth a fair bit in Oz.. .. .I have enquired as to the most efficient method of restraining said finch, and the answer came back quick and definate.. .. .It's just not possible to catch these little things. They are for all intents and purposes winged mice, which means that they can run in 3 dimentions.. .. .Good luck.

25th Mar 2002, 14:15
Fosters and XXXX Scran? COOPERS you mean surely?. .. .Seriously though, throwing a towel or light rug over the bird and grabbing it gently usually works. Have you tried leaving a tray of bird seed on the floor in the middle of the room? Might give you a better chance at capture. . .. .Good luck!

25th Mar 2002, 15:47
I have actually bred both Zebra and King Finches quite a number of years ago... Never once did I have to actually pay for one as we used to have a friend that would catch them for us as well as for himself. He used to go out to a property he worked on with a mate of his... taking the bike out Kevin, the shorter of the two, would actually stand on the back of the bike wearing a full length trench coat. They would tear through the paddock and Kevin would open his jacket and close very rapidly and catch approx 20 to 30 of the little suckers race home to the cage and deliver the birds in one piece into the cage. Very rarely would any actually die so all you bird lovers out there shut up before you protest to cruelty. But they do need around 4 to 1 female to male rattio to properly breed. But honestly work out the amount of room you have before racing around your living room on the bike... and have fun. .FB

25th Mar 2002, 15:48
SCRAN, VELVET - Most Aussies that I have encountered (mainly in the B.Ae. contract out here in Knoteetingham) will, after their first 24 hours amongst the sand dunes and away from Eks-Eks-Eks-Eks, drink ANYTHING - warm, cold or indifferent (any inhabitants of "Ozzy-4" who care to prove me wrong may meet me in the RNA at Iz-2 on Friday <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" /> ). .. .HUGGY - As mentioned in another JB thread, Queen Vic also had another solution that her Navy used to control annoying interlopers - the first shot was just in front of the bows, and if that didn't work, a second shot just ASTERN OF THE BOWS would be guaranteed <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" /> (in this application I would suggest that a 12-bore would be a better substitute for the Naval 9") Again, the removal of all expensive crystal (and children and Celtic Emeralds) from the room may be advisable.. .. .Another, kinder idea might be a variation of Velvet's; add a bit of gin, vodka, poteen, siddiqi (aka flash or white lightning) to the bowl of eks-eks-eks-eks, and this should slow the busterd down enough to catch him. Of course, if you don't add enough, it might just slow him down enough to make him mis-judge the clearance of the ceiling fan - see here the discourse on "structural characteristics of pidgeon" elsewhere on JB) with disastrous (though partially successful) results <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />

25th Mar 2002, 20:39
Scran, I didn't mention what would be in the pint - I've known many an Ozpal drink pints of anything as long as it contained alcohol. . .. .Our Bitter isn't warm it's just not frozen popsicles like some places. Offer Worthingtons, John Brown or Tetleys to any visiting Ozpal and they down it like a good'un. . .. .I think also you lot ought to take some responsibility for brewing that gunk even if you do export it.

26th Mar 2002, 01:02
Velvet my dear,. .. .You need to see the post I put on another forum. There is nothing wrong with Aussie Fosters or XXXX (or Coopers Foyl!), the stuff we export for you English to drink is the soap suds that are left over after we clean out the brewery every friday!!!!. .. .Now, while I could wax long and (perhaps) lyrical about Aussie beers (and my favourite is Cascade - from a lovely little island to the south of us called Tasmania), REAL Aussies (and I was in this category in my younger days) drink VB - Victoria Bitter (or green cans as they are known in the Top End). Almost every night I am reminded of this fact by the VB adds on TV........ <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> . .. ."......As a matter of fact I've got it now, a hard earned thirst needs a real cold beer, and the best cold beer is Vic....Victoria Bitter!!!!" <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" />. . . . <small>[ 25 March 2002, 21:04: Message edited by: scran ]</small>

26th Mar 2002, 04:42
What about coating the top surface of the ceiling fan blades with something a bit sticky and gooey? I believe this used to be a traditional method for bird catching but I have no idea what substance was used. I imagine it shouldn't be TOO strong though or you might end up with a bird in the hand and a couple of little legs left on the fan blade!!!. .. . <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" />

Moritz Suter
26th Mar 2002, 04:49
Mr. Blank,. .. .Keep the finch and kill your son. Less pain in the long run.. .. .MS.

26th Mar 2002, 05:00
Still worth 2 in the bush though BD. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />

The Mistress
26th Mar 2002, 05:08
Hmm and now it's suggesting that PPruners should murder their children. Been living in the land of cuckoo clocks too long, haven't you Suter.

Moritz Suter
26th Mar 2002, 05:11
As in Roland P. McMurphy, Mistress?. .. .You are a naughty wench!

The Mistress
26th Mar 2002, 05:21
I am indeed, but that's beside the point.. .. .Murdering PPrune kiddies is just not on, d'you hear!

Moritz Suter
26th Mar 2002, 05:23
But children are such heartbreak, Mistress!

26th Mar 2002, 05:26
As your parents well know.

Moritz Suter
26th Mar 2002, 05:36
Come now!. .. .It's past time all young strumpets were abed, and all feculent old curs were reattached to their colostomy bags.. .. .Night night.. .. .MS.

26th Mar 2002, 09:10
The little fugitive has been restored to captivity. . .. .Thanks for the suggestions. The house has not been torched, no sparrowhawk was fed. . .. .The little beast bested me in all matters but stamina. After being chased around for hours, it threw in the towel, consented to hop into its wicker nest and after a few tries I managed to slap my cap over the nest before the crafty little devil flew out. It had a long nap and then sulked. It seems to be back to normal now - either chirping happily or taunting us, hard to tell. . .. .sprocket, you seem to be wise in the ways of the Zebra Finch. The finch was delighted to discover my potted anthurium. I would make him a present of it but I think that it is poisonous. The advice to approach the bird from the rear was no doubt correct - it is what the finch books suggest. However, as a practical matter it has been my experience that a Zebra Finch will not turn its back to you.. .. .Velvet, about that pint: the last thing you want to give to a bird that is flying around lose in your house is more ammunition.