I just released Delphina. I am still reeling a little from my sudden impulse, and just a little sad seeing her fly away, though i have not really liked her. I think what slammed it really home was how desperate this bird wanted to leave her cage. I opened the cage knowing full well she will be out in a second. Lance never learnt how to fly and i do not think he ever will. Delphina hopped to the opening, paused for a second, and took off, flying high into the sky. She met another bird, made a slight detour and was on her way.
She was built for this, to fly at liberty wherever, whenever. I have been keeping the birds for a few weeks now, and it has gradually been impressed upon me how cruel it is to restrict their movements. I leave the cage out in the backyard, and i heard the birds chirp with answering calls from the wild. I saw how Delphina flew madly around the cage, trying to seek a way out. I never let her go because i do not know whether domestic birds can survive in the wild, and i wanted her to be Lance’s playmate. But the breaking point came when i spent a bit more time at home the last few days.
I heard one of the birds go into this mad squawking rage, a huge commotion in the cage that startled me, and certainly had the dog rushing out in panic to check on them, and then a loud thud. This did not happen once or twice, but certainly several times. So yesterday i napped on the couch so i could observe them. And i saw that it was Delphina who goes into a screeching hysteria, saw her attack Lance, saw her shove him off his perch. Since Lance cannot fly, he drops like a dead weight to the bottom of his cage. He can’t hop properly either (he has a deformity in his leg; my housemate and i have come to the conclusion that he has a neurological problem, and that probably led him to fall out of his nest in the first place), so he scrambles desperately to climb up the side of the cage. And Delphina swooped down and pecked and clawed him savagely. I was appalled. I have no experience with birds, but an unprovoked attack like this does not bode well nor seem right to me. Ultimately, Lance would cower at the side of the cage, and he would hastily clamber off his perch whenever Delphina came near. She has the advantage of flight; he does not. Before purchasing Delphina, i always hear Lance chirp. Since putting her into the same cage, he has become silent. I witnessed four of these mad cycles of violence in two days. I do not know how often Delphina attacks Lance, nor do i know how much longer he can take, falling off his perch. He will die.
I wondered whether Delphina was bored. I know that animals perform stereotyped movements when they have a lack of stimulation. I have certainly bought stuff to entertain Delphina but it is not working. So i released her. She is clearly suited to the wild. And through keeping these birds, i have gradually realized that i do not like rearing birds, and more importantly, i feel that i am literally clipping their wings, and it is exceedingly cruel. Keeping Lance is fine with me; he will die in the wild. Delphina on the other hand was a strong young bird. I feel terribly guilty, and i know i am impressing human emotions on her, but i can’t help but wonder how sad and desperate she must be when she heard the carefree cries of the wild birds, whilst she was kept in a cage. I hope she is all right. I think she will be. She has proven to me that she is a robust bird, although in ways i did not appreciate. There is a massive creek near my place, she will be finally get the happiness i could not provide.
Godspeed to her, maybe she will come back to visit whenever she hears Lance chirps when i put him in the yard. In fact, he is chirping right now, something i have not heard in ages.