We have four Zebra Finches.. two boys and two girls. The boys’ names are Captain and Thor and the girls are Tennille and Fauna. I call her “fat Fauna” cuz that’s the only way to tell the two girls apart. Fauna is just a little bigger. No way for us to tell which one has been dropping so many eggs. I suppose both of them may be. Captain and Thor are easy to tell apart because Captain has the typical grey zebra finch coloring and Thor is white. The ladies seem to prefer Captain which really makes no sense because everyone knows that Thor is everyone’s favorite. 😜
I honestly did not even think about the fact that “Captain” could be taken as a reference to Captain America (especially in the context of the other bird being Thor) until this very moment. The birds did not have names until we moved in, but Once we acquired the two female birds it was a must. I just liked the name Captain for a bird and could not help but think of a pair as “Captain and Tennille”, after the music duo. Jim’s son is the most interested of all our kids in the birds and fish and cats and snails and he picked the name Fauna. He wanted Flora and Fauna for the girls but we didn’t really like Flora and so Tennille it was. The atypical male became Thor, because.. well.. everybody loves Thor (he’s certainly my favorite Avenger).
A week ago we were taking bets on what gender our two new little members of the family were. We decided to hold off naming them until their adult plumage came in. That would happen at about 7 or 8 weeks. At the time I thought we were out of the danger zone with regard to their survival despite what Jim was saying about it.
It’s that hopeful part of me that named my last post “The Miracle of Life – Part 1” and ended the post with the sign-off “To Be Continued”. I’m perpetually and forever on the side of life where everything continues and has a positive ending. I don’t care for stories that don’t have happy endings or at least an ending where something good has prevailed. I’d like to think of myself as an optimist, but I’m also a realist and I know real life often doesn’t turn out as we hope it will.
I’d really like to continue now, with this post, reporting that I returned home and found our newest little inhabitant recovered from Wednesday’s drama, hopping around just fine. Unfortunately that’s just not what happened.
We arrived home around 11am and I made a straight line right to the room with the birds to find him or her in the back of the cage behind the cardboard and not moving. It made me a little sick and then I was angry. I pulled the plastic tarp off of the pond and fed the fish and left. Jim took care of the rest.
I can’t help but wonder if putting the bird on cardboard in the cage before leaving was a bad idea. Just like all the other things we had done, sticking our giant human noses in their little business, it was hard to know if we were doing more harm than good. Through the few short weeks they were alive, I often second and third guessed our actions. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if we had left the little creature on its own, where it was. Would the outcome be different? No way to know.
It’s a microcosm of our human existence on this planet. Each time I watch and episode of “Blue Planet” I come away feeling like we’re just ruining everything. Every episode has amazing footage of nature and the ocean and it’s inhabitants. Near the end of every episode, there’s always a “but”, which is followed by footage and commentary on how the ocean levels are rising due to melting of the polar ice caps and how that’s affecting the habitats that depend on the delicate balance of nature remaining somewhat static. It affects penguins, walrus, polar bears, sea coral, and pretty much everything else that lives in and around our planet’s oceans. If I think about it too much I get pretty down about it.
Just like with our little Zebra finches, though, I’m at a loss for what can be done. What can a few people do to effect positive change and better outcomes? I just don’t have an answer in either case.
On Friday I sat on the floor and brought Captain more materials for building (or rebuilding) his nest. He’s gotten quite brave and will come very close to me to snatch twigs and bits of twine. I felt like it was a peace offering for whatever my part was in his offsprings’ failure to thrive. It was all I could do really.
Looking for the positive is sometimes a challenge but I did find some solice in the fact that he wasn’t pausing his efforts to rebuild. Life does indeed continue and there will be other clutches of eggs. We may yet get to witness some new life that has a happier ending.
Three of our four birds have tags on their legs as they were purchased at a pet store. Captain, however, does not, Jim tells me he was born in that room which means that success IS possible. I’m going to hang onto that and not consider this the end of this story. It’s just a story that, like every other story, has its ups and downs.
I’m just a witness, playing a small part in it. And with that I say again.. To Be Continued…