Wednesday, October 29, 2008

huzzah! huzzah!

Sometimes life is profound and sometimes it is delicious and sometimes, well, it stands on its head. This morning my baby finches fledged - left their nest - all at once. I was hoping the three we had seen survived, but wondered often if we might find the carcass of one or two laying in the nest.

Well surprise, surprise. Not only are they all alive, but there are five of them! All jammed into that tiny nest, all mostly adult size, all juvenile gray except for Little Dove who is all white.

Apparently a white Zebra finch, while not exactly rare, is an anomaly of a kind. I love that we have one! It isn't an albino which is very rare, and will have some color ... but it is lovely. I smiled all day after seeing my juveniles flitting around, the male whipping his wings in pride and the mother hovering one branch to another. Family like I understand it.

The White Zebra was one of the earliest mutations to occur in captivity. Its exact place and origin is unknown. The White mutation is recessive. True Whites are devoid of all markings and the entire plumage is white. Whites retain the beak color, dark eye color, and orange pigmented legs. The beak color is the only reliable way in which to sex White Zebras. Males have a dark red beak, females retain an orange beak. The eye color can vary from being dark brown to reddish brown. This difference in eye color of Whites reflects the ancestry of the White. For example, Whites with dark brown eyes are likely descendants of a Grey lineage, whereas Whites with reddish brown eyes are descendants from a Fawn lineage. The eye color can be most easily recognized in newly hatched White chicks and becomes less obvious as the birds feather and mature.

1 comment:

rachel said...

hooray hooray!

and i am newly optimistic about ours...