Acquired: Pet store
Posted May 19, 2015
My mother got a canary when my 3 kids were very young, with their ages ranging from 1 to 8 years old. As I recall, Chippy was presented as a birthday gift to my middle daughter who was 6 yrs old at the time. The children were ecstatic as Chippy was a beautiful bird who sang magnificent melodies and was very easy to care for. His cage had a bottom which pulled out easily so his bedding changes were simple and his food was inexpensive. He loved the treats we dangled from the bars of his spacious living quarters - he was truly the King of his castle.
Now, Chippy on the whole had a wonderful personality, full of life and capable of learning neat tricks to impress us, and always offering his beautiful songs to our thankful ears, however, Chippy had a dark side. A dark side we grew to refer to as Choppy.
Chippy enjoyed his "free time" where he was allowed to fly wherever he wanted in our large home. Perhaps that is where we went wrong. It was apparent early on, Chippy would not be using his "fly time" for good. No, Chippy became Choppy soon after his "free time" started.
It didn't happen every day but sometimes, after Chippy was released from his cage he would fly to a corner of whatever room we were in and wait. He'd just wait, taking in the sounds, the sights and breathing in the activity around him. When our attention was no longer on him, he'd strike.
Choppy would swoop down at high speeds and skim the top of our heads with such speed you knew something had just grazed the top of your head but what exactly, you never saw. It startled us when he first started doing it and as he got older and stronger, it was thrilling to know he'd be striking at any moment and it became a game to see if you could spot him while he was doing it. It didn't hurt really, just scared you for a second.
Our friends would laugh, "He's just a canary! how fast can can he be?"...and then he'd prey on their heads and make his move resulting in them pleading with us to put him away for their visit as they couldn't take the "not knowing" of when he would strike.
He wasn't aggressive in any other way. He'd do tricks on your finger, he'd come when called, he even flew out the window one day but came right back. Why Chippy suddenly became Choppy at times was always a mystery but we loved them both for each quality they possessed inside of that one canary.
I guess if I had to sum up the review of my sweet but demented canary, I'd say beware for even a beautiful songbird can mask an unpredictable villain but he was definitely worth owning.
After a few years we were on the move so much we weren't able to give Chippy a lot of attention so Chippy went to live with my recently retired Grandmother. He enjoyed his life with Grandma P and lived well with her. Choppy didn't appear to her often but when he did, he executed a much gentler strike...almost as if he knew she was a more fragile creature than our young rambunctious family.
We visited Chippy fairly frequently and when Choppy showed up we enjoyed his high speed trips across our hair. We missed them.
I think owning Chippy wowed us and was a pretty memorable pet owning experience - to think a little bird could have so many facets to his personality. He was quite a Canary!