My name is Polly and I am an illustrator living in Norwich, UK. I am currently studying the final year of my degree in illustration at Norwich University of the Arts.
I first started to keep birds as a child, I used to hatch and raise chickens and nurture injured birds that had found their way into my garden.
After a long, hard think about owning a canary I then decided that it was the right choice for me, as I’m at home working a lot, and I thought that owning a canary would be a nice companion to have whilst I’m illustrating.
The first canary I owned was called Ellis, he was a very special, lovely natured bird, we use to have breakfast together everyday, and would even nap together on the sofa, his favourite place to sleep was under my chin, nestled within my hair.
Ellis is where my love for canaries began, sadly after his passing I waited sometime before I got another. I couldn’t stand how quiet the house was, so I visited a lot of canary breeders before I came across some gorgeous green chicks. This is when I bought Ernest. One morning I woke up to find that my sweet little Ernest had laid an egg! Whoops! I renamed Ernest to Olive. She then began to get so broody, and I thought it was only fair for her to have a partner, so that’s when I got handsome Morris, who is a mosaic dimorphic red factor canary!
Olive and Morris took a liking to each other right from the start, I remember Olive would always follow him around everywhere. After some time to bond, I began to notice that Morris had started feeding Olive which is a sign that the canaries are officially a pair.
As breeding season came around they began mating. Olive was a busy bee building her nest, I gave her an array of different materials, but for some reason she seemed to prefer shredded toilet roll! One morning I woke to find Olive had laid her first egg of the breeding season, she continued to lay one egg a day equalling in five teeny, tiny, beautiful eggs.
Olive incubated the eggs and called (more like demanded) Morris for food. After a few days passed I was able to check to see if the eggs were fertilised, and to my astonishment all five eggs had a minuscule chick embryo inside.
Three chicks hatched early on the twelfth day, and they were the size of my thumb nail. The next two chicks hatched the following day. Morris and Olive have been non stop everyday since, busy collecting and regurgitating food for the chicks, cleaning the nest and keeping themselves healthy.
The five chicks are now just three weeks old and already fully feathered!
They have all flown from the nest and are observing and mimicking Olive and Morris, learning to eat and fly. They already are such characters.
At night they all sleep in a little line on the same branch, so close to their parents so they feel safe and warm.
Follow this adorable story on Polly’s Instagram page @pollyfern