by JOHN LIMING
(United States of America)
My two sweet little finches will suddenly begin to swipe their beaks against their perches for several passes whenever I come close and start sweet talking them.
If I encourage them, they seem to intensify their beak action and this can go on for a couple of minutes.
The smaller one, "Sugar," often chooses to do his "Beak" thing on the small bars of his cage almost like he is playing a harp or something.
If I rake my fingernail across a couple of his cage bars, he will answer me by raking his beak across some of the bars of his cage near where he is perched.
Are my birdies using some kind of territorial instinct to warn me that I am too close or are they showing some kind of affection or are they simply trying to please me by showing off?
They do something new almost every day to thrill and delight me and to bring warm tears of love to my cheeks sometimes.
Your notes gave me wonderful goose bumps. Welcome to the wonderful world of Lady Gouldians!! If they want to warn you of something, they will shrink back and you'll know they are scared. I think they identify with your kindness and gentle nature and they want you to know they are happy to be with you and they appreciate your efforts for them. Call me crazy, but there is no other finch or bird for that matter, like a sweet Gouldian.
There is a part of the breeding ritual during which a female will sort of bow toward the male and swipe her beak back and forth along the perch at their feet, but I don't think that is what you are seeing. Thanks for writing, Jeanie