|A male Fawn Java Sparrow - note the bulge on the top of its' beak|
A visit to a pet shop anywhere in the UK was to see rows of cages housing pathetic, fluttering, frightened "exotic species" which had, just a few days earlier been flying wild in some foreign country. I remember travelling to Toddington (Junction 12 on the M1) with my father to visit a massive, well it seemed massive at that time in my life,retail outlet where there were 1000's of birds for sale. I recall various species of Waxbill, Whydah, Weaver Birds and Finches available for a few shillings each!
|A Normal (wild grey), an Opaline and a Silver - fantastic birds|
I didn't return to bird keeping until after Bev and I were married, for some reason - and on a whim, she brought me a pair of Zebra Finches which were housed in a small cage in my study. I called them Posh & Becks and said to Bev that I would breed them. Within four months I had seven Zebra Finches, in two cages, in my study and the resultant mess ensured that my plan to build an aviary was a goer! Bev now wanting those "messy sods" out of the house. A few weeks, and £450, later I was the proud owner of a nice new aviary with a splendid flight and separate indoor feeding area. My Zebra Finches were soon joined by three Java Sparrows which were purchased from "Vanishing World" on the Wildwood site at Herne Hill.
|My favourite colour variety - an Opaline (this one's a female)|