Retired rock stars

When flipping through the comment book for Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s from here to ear, you’ll come across a lot of love for the Zebra finches. With their squeaky toy peeps and bright orange beaks, it’s no surprise that the tiny winged guitarists gained quite a few groupies during their time at PEM, and I happen to know two of them quite well.

I recently wrote a blog post about my dad, Eric, and his wife, Kathy, visiting the museum (read it here) — a visit I deliberately timed around from here to ear because they are both avid bird lovers. Kathy, a photographer, is an ace at capturing shots of the many birds that flock to the feeders and birdhouses in their New Jersey backyard.

A sparrow, a goldfinch, and a house finch enjoy lunch al fresco at Chez Boehm. Photo © Kathy Lloyd Boehm

A sparrow, and goldfinch, and a house finch enjoy lunch al fresco at Chez Boehm. Photo by Kathy Lloyd Boehm

As I predicted, the finches of from here to ear made quite the impression. “We were smitten!” says Kathy.

Kathy's shot of the exhibition banner for From Here to Ear.

Kathy snapped this shot of the exhibition banner during their visit. Photo by Kathy Lloyd Boehm

Having cared for canaries, parakeets, cockatiels, and even Zebra finches in the past, Kathy and my dad are both experienced bird owners, and they had been looking to adopt a bird for some time. When they met the talented stars of the PEM exhibition, they knew their search for just the right avian addition to their family was over. I set about helping them adopt two of the birds, which were scheduled to return to the animal handlers when the exhibition closed on April 13.

Kathy shared these thoughts about the experience and their new feathered friends:

Caryn made a few connections and led us to Steve McCauliff, owner of Animal Actors, the company which provided the birds to the museum.  Coincidentally, they are located within an hour of our home in NJ.  Steve chose a mated pair for us, and within a week after the closing of the exhibit, we became the proud owners of little Jimi and Janis.

Most finches are a bit skittish, but not our little rock stars from PEM!  For the size of them, they are full of personality!

Meet Jimi and Janis, two retired From Here to Ear rockstars.

Meet Jimi and Janis, who are enjoying their quiet retirement. Photo by Kathy Lloyd Boehm

They are hardly bigger than hummingbirds and are in constant motion, except when they are snuggled together to sleep.  Jimi loves to sing and peck at the bells on their little guitar toy, and Janis loves to take short flights and peck at the cuttlebone.

Whenever we walk in the room, they greet us with their soft peeping and squeaking.  They’ve quickly adapted to their new life. They know they’re talented and beautiful but they’re also very humble.  So far, they’ve made no demands other than drinking and bathing in bottled water and having the front page of the newspaper in their cage.

We couldn’t be more thrilled, and we love telling their story!

And here’s what Jimi and Janis had to say (anyone know a Zebra finch translator?):

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