Recently, I have noticed a bird sining in the trees near my apartment. I haven’t successful yet in seeing what the culprit looks like, but the melody is very sweet. It is a seductive singing, that even my wife noticed it. The singer, loves to sign in the morning, about 6am and in the evening, about 6/7pm.
This bird, I don’t know what kind or what it looks like, have been singing for about two week or more. I don’t remember when I noticed it, but did notice it some time. May be it might have been even months. Anyway, I decided a few days ago that I would take it. I heard the singing several time, but there was too much ambient noise. Fortunately, this morning I had my chance.
I am very fascinated by this songbird. The bird brings back memories of my childhood and my experience with a songbird. Before I get into the story of the songbird of my childhood, let’s me offer you the opportunity to hear the songbird in the trees outside.
Isn’t that beautiful? Doesn’t that make you want to put it on loop and play it a few more times? Well, I hope it does. I love it.
I had a cage bird when I was in my mid to late teens. It was when I lived in Guyana, South America. If I had to do some calculations, it would be between the ages of fifteen to sixteen. I left Guyana just before my seventeen birth, about three weeks before.
The care of the bird, was left in the hands of a cousin. There was no expectation that I would return for the bird. Even if I had returned in a few years, changes it wouldn’t had lived that log anyway. I can’t say exactly, how the bird came to his demise. But that it did.
Now, the bird I had, was called a Mustache. That is the colloquial name. Like the bird I tapped in Foster City California, my bird and many birds usually sing in the mornings and the evenings. You would hear them signing during the day too, but not as much as morning and evening.
There uses to be bird sining competitions. More on that later.
Besides the singing, this bird was well known for molting. That is when it would shed it feathers and get new ones. If you got one when it was brown. Over time, it would mold repeatedly, and eventually be black and white. In between, it would had some degree of brown, black, and white. Fortunately, it was able to take my bird though the process of brown to black & while. Here are two YouTube videos of Mustache in brown and another in black & white. NOTE: The audio isn’t very good. There is a lot of background noises, a cricket match, other birds singing, including a Kisk-a-dee, and other noises.
Mustache wasn’t the only bird that molted. At the time I had my bird, my best friend from even back then, had a Fire-Red. Fire-red would start out all brown too. Then they would molt to brown back, and burned-brown, but not quite red, under feathers.
While a bird is molting, you would cover the cage, keeping it in darkness. Now I don’t know why that was the practice. May be they would be cold with basically no feathers. I don’t know if birds go hid in some dark or warm place while they molt in the while. But that was the practice. You would see boys and men with their bird cages, covered in a dark sleeve.
Here is a picture of a Fire-Red close up here.
As as young man, your first bird, if you were interested, would most likely be a Fire-Red or Mustache. Those were fairly plentiful and easy to catch. If you were an adult, the bird you had was a Towa Towa. Towa Towa were known to be great singers. This made them expensive and highly sought after. They were not necessarily rare, you just had to travel further to get them. And since just about anyone wanted one, as a young person, you won’t have one. It would most likely be stolen, or taken away by the older boys. So, you spend your life with the more popular songbirds.
You here that Towa Towa show off. 🙂 That is some good singing.
Even though Mustache and Fire-Red are good singers, and some more than others. They have nothing on the Towa Towa. If you wanted to win a bird singing competition, you would go with a Towa Towa, not a Fire-Red or Mustache. People have tried to and some have succeeded in smuggling Towa Towa into the United States of America.
Close of a Towa Tota:
Yup, I heard the song bird singing.
PS: What we call a Towa Towa in Guyana, is a Bull Finch or Boy Boy in Trinidad. Here is video of a Trinidadian Bull Finich. Same thing as the Towa Towa. The nice thing about the following video, is that there isn’t any distracting background noises.