January 31, 2019

January In The Bird Room --- Month by Month Journal

Late January 2019 
My intentions are to keep this Month by Month Journal up to date, with two posts each month:  one at the beginning, with my plans, and one at the end to see how well the month went!  (and to include photos with each post!)
Here is a video of a 'singing' American Singer hen.  Yes, I know:  canary hens do not USUALLY sing.  However, I have had several who were such good singers, they fooled visitors in my bird room!  This hen does not have a beautiful song... those little peeps and bubbling notes are her best.
But, she sure seems to be having fun!  And she has hatched chicks the past three years! 
Activity In My Bird Room:
My DIET RESEARCH is nearly done... tomorrow I will be doing the last experiments with commercial soft food mixes.  When the Research is ready, I will publish it here.  I won't be writing out all the technical nutrition information I found, but  have added links to my CANARY SEEDS (LINKS) page, if anyone would like to do research for themselves.
It was so much fun, and I found answers to many questions!  More on this soon!

I 'bit the bullet' and spent the cash to get a full third set of water tubes and a second set of seed dishes.
Many of the older plastic water tubes were cracking, leaking and it was time to get new ones.
Having duplicates of the waterers and seed saucers will save time later this season.

My birds are beginning to awake to the fact it is nearly Spring.  Montana weather outside has been warm and sunny, but the forecast for February is for more normal, colder conditions. I would like the hens to wait until late February, at least, before seriously beginning to nest.  So far so good!

January 15, 2019

Tips on Photographing Your Birds

We all love to share photos of our birds!  And there are many different types of photos:  some people like to catch their birds in their everyday activities, such as flying, eating or nesting.  Sometimes, we want to show off the shape or color of a particularly beautiful bird.

Of course, we want these photos to be perfect!  Considering how active birds are,
our photographs often fall short
of what we had hoped to capture!
I have found good instructions on a few web pages, and
have found a setup that works for me.
There are other good methods, and I am always looking
for ways to improve my canary photos.

Here are a few of my best tips
and I will add links to the informative webpages following the photos.
  • A smartphone WILL take good canary photos, but there are differences between the camera on your phone and a good digital SLR camera.  If you experiment with your smartphone camera, you will find little tricks that give you good photos.
  • Strong lighting and a clear or uncluttered background do make the photos more striking.
  • I have found that a combination of both natural window light, not necessarily direct sunshine, with a small lamp works the best, for me. (Photo #4)
  • Having the camera lens touching, or very close, to the cage wires forces the camera to focus on the birds inside.  My cellphone camera lens has a view that actually fits between the 1/2 inch spacing when I am very close to the cage wires.(Photo #7)
  • If you cannot get very, very near the cage wires, it is better to move back one foot or more.  At that point, both the cage and the birds inside will be in focus. (Photo #5)  If you are close, but not close enough, to the wires, your camera will want to focus on the wires, and not the birds inside. (Photo #6)
  • A single perch at the far end of the cage will encourage the bird to sit in one place.  Even a nervous bird will return to the perch.
Photo #4
Photo #5
Photo #6
Photo #7

Links to good informational webpages below......

January 9, 2019

January In The Bird Room --- Month By Month Journal

I am excited about so many things for the upcoming year!  There are NEW birds!
I have also been researching some 'Diet' questions.  I have pretty definite opinions about feeding canaries, and I have been generally happy with my methods.  But, there are new products for sale, and other breeders have different ideas.  In several areas, my research is confirming my original opinions and at other times, I am learning something new!  I will share my research over several posts later this month.

But, whatever I decide is best for my bird room, may not be best for you!  And what I do is definitely not the ONLY WAY, no matter how well it works for me!  There are nearly as many different ways of caring for and breeding canaries as there are people who own birds!  There are a few basic things nearly every successful canary person will do, but they each do them slightly differently, and in combination with many other aspects of canary husbandry!

One of my complaints about 'social media' is that every time a beginner canary owner posts a question, most of the replies will say 'You MUST do this, or that.'  Or 'This is the ONLY way.'  There is a time and place for in depth answers, but they can also discourage someone who is not ever going to have more than a few canaries as pets.   And many times, the people replying will begin to disagree with each other.
Oh, dear.

The take-away from all this is:  I am posting what happens in my bird room,
what I've learned, and my OPINIONS that result from those experiences!
If my posts make you think, that is all I ask.
New Waterslager hens are enjoying baths.
This song breed is new to me this year and I am having fun learning all I can!