According to Webster Dictionary: a-ri-a. (ä΄rēַə), noun, 1. an elaborate melody sung by a single voice 2. a striking solo performance [Italian, from Latin ǎera, literally means air]
Who am I and how did my interest in birds start?
My name is Brenda Varhola, and I've loved birds all of my life. I can remember as a child propping a cardboard box up with a stick that had a piece of string tied to it. My goal was to catch a bird, and I'd put pieces of bread under the box in hopes of tempting one under my "trap". I'd lay on my belly underneath a nearby bush, thinking I was hiding when, in all probability, every bird in the neighborhood knew I was there. I never caught anything except poison ivy.
As an adult, my interest continued and grew. My kids knew that if they found a bird's nest on the ground while exploring, that bringing it home would be a great surprise and a welcomed "gift" for mom. We would talk about what materials the nest was made of, and guess about what species of bird built it. I still have some of those nests in a display case, and when I see the horse hairs in one, or the pine needles in another, I remember where it came from and smile.
I feed wild birds all year long, and enjoy seeing the parent birds bring their newly fledged youngsters to the feeders in the Spring. I kept several bluebird nesting boxes, and journeled the nesting activities along my "bluebird trail". My nest collections in includes two that came out of a bluebird box when the chicks were fledged.... one made by bluebirds, and another made by a pair of chickadees. Each species used different materials in their design, which was especially interesting to see.
What inspired "Aria From a Birdcage"?
"ARIA FROM A BIRDCAGE" came into being when my growing interest in canaries led me to be more than just a pet owner. It all began with a single pet canary, a generic yellow bird that was found at a pet shop. He was purchased at the lower female price because the pet shop could not guaranty the sex, and as you know, only the males are singers. Within a few days of being in our home, HE burst out with joyous song, and totally amazed my family. He sang boisterously, with such a variety of phrases and notes that it made you wonder if there was only one bird in the cage.
My family enjoyed him for several years (now here's where a sad event happens), when one day he was found dead at the bottom of the cage...no apparent reason. It could be that he was old, since we have no idea what his history was before we purchased him, but his passing left the house empty of song. The atmosphere that had been filled with his elaborate solo performance was now still and quiet.
I began to search for a replacement for him, but because it was in the Spring, the local pet stores had none available. I turned to the internet, thinking I would be able to find a breeder and buy a bird directly from them. Once I started researching, I realized that my thinking that a canary was just a yellow bird that sings was very narrow. It amazed me that canaries came in so many colors and types. Because I was searching for a canary with a superior song, I determined that the American Singer was the particular breed of canary for me.
To make a long story short, I wanted a high quality bird, so I contacted breeders that had been showing their birds in competition (and winning). I knew that birds from their aviary would have, genetically, the quality I was looking for, especially since my research had peaked my interest to aim toward showing and competing with my own birds.
Instead of buying only one male to replace my lost singer, I purchased three pairs, and began my adventure in raising canaries. My little yellow singer's passing had opened a whole new world for me.
When the breeder emailed me to see how the birds made the trip to my home, he said, "They are fortunate to have found such a good home where their new owner is so concerned about every detail to preserve their wellbeing." His approving remarks also confirmed to me that I had, indeed, found a hobby that would become the source of much enjoyment and lead me down a very interesting pathway.
I encourage you to join me in the journey. Whether it be a single pet bird that comes into your heart, or an aviary filled with a collection of birds, my wish for you is that your days be filled with merry song.
My Location and Contact Information
I am in Port Charlotte, Florida. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 304-650-3132 ( I tend to avoid answering calls from someone not in my contact list to avoid sales/robocalls). You are welcome to contact me anytime with comments, questions, or inquiries.
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