I am so upset with myself right now. I have been saving my money and finally bought my first pair of Gouldian finches. They were so beautiful (and expensive). I only had them for 2 days, when I noticed the male was holding one of his legs up and could not use it. I caught up both finches to have a closer look and I could see they both had scaly leg mites. I did not notice at the pet shop as the birds are so tiny. I remembered one of the birds at the shop had a foot missing (now I think from this disease). Anyway I finished looking at the females legs, put her back in the cage. Then started to look at the male. Just then a storm started with strong wind and we had a power cut. It was too dark in my house, so I opened the door and sat with the bird in my hand on the step outside. Thats when I noticed the male also had some fine cotton around his leg, cutting off his circulation! I tried to get the thread off, but I was so frightened of hurting him, so I must has loosened my grip............then he was away into the distance! My heart sank! How could I be so stupid! I should have just waited to the next day. I just wanted to help him. Now I only have a singe female with bad feet looking very sad on her own. I hung her cage outside on a large tree in the hope the male would come back. But she is so quite and not calling to him. Well its been over 24 hours now and no sign of him. I hate to think of him slowly starving to death, not able to cope because of his bad leg. I feel its my fault. I went back to the pet shop to complain about the birds health. 'Strangely' their cage of 15 gouldian finches had vanished.....the lady said she had sold them all....(in 3 days ...right?!) So now I have this ill lonely female. The vets in my area will not treat small birds so I will just have to keep on with the vasoline.....but already she is looking a mess with oily feathers and I am worried about the stress of catching her each day to treat her. I wish I had never bought them, and such a waste of money (something I have not got much of right now). I did not think I would get so attached to a small bird like a finch, but I can't stop thinking about his loss.