The SISKIN: a 60- year-long friendship
Long time ago, in the attic of my house among family oldies, I found the tiny cage my father made out of rusty iron strings. As curious as a 6 year-old boy can be, I took the cage, cleaned it removing the spider’s web and adjusted the string so to make it safer.
Happy with my conquer, I looked at the two high pillars used by our neighbor – Mario Pezzano (named Panze) as birds trap. This method used mistletoe, and was legal. I knew I could count on it to get a host for my new cage.
Late that same evening Panze found me right out of his door: I waited for him to unload the bird calls and proudly showed him the cage.
Panze gave me a siskin and taught me how to take care of her. Every day back from school, even before having lunch, I checked on the little bird. I fed her with canary grass seeds and cornstarch. Mario used the same seed in his birds calls, there was not a large choice back then.
The siskin in her cage.
Three weeks later, together with my siskin I started wandering in the alder woods by the stream. I used to place the cage on a bush and hiding back I was hopeful she could recall a mate.
Actually I was able to catch several siskins attracted by this female birdie, they landed on the cage where I had laid a stick and the mistletoe (Panie).
In more than 50 years from that day, I found the time to regret on that childish behavior. A siskin has always been part of my winged friends, also during the winter time when Fusine is snow-covered.
In all these years I could rely on my wife’s constant help and support in the birds care.
A siskin has always been part of my winged friends... Paolo Gregorutti