Since getting a pet bird Pearce became deeply associated with the various birds he kept, which he called his ‘little friends’.” His love for his finches was an obsession, and he became known as a ‘fincher.’
He was a shy man, and yet somehow in his birdkeeping had an unusual ability to communicate with birds. He also had an extraordinary gift to observe and understand their behavior. Pearce loved the birds as if they were human beings. The birds lived around him all the time, and he became very familiar with their habits and personalities.
He was an avid bird photographer, setting up elaborate camera equipment to photograph his birds. He did not have a dark room so he took the photographs into the living room, and one of his hobbies was developing the film in the bathtub. He had many inner-city friends who were in need of some extra income. He told them he had a way to make money and to teach them how to keep birds and sell them.
He would give these friends birds and teach them how to make a living producing birds, and in this way he became a ‘bird farm’. His favorite birds were finches, but he also kept canaries, and parakeets.
Pearce’s business was very profitable for him and many people in the neighborhood, especially those living in public housing. But he did not have to work a nine-to-five job and so was able to devote himself to his bird business and to his photography.
The beautiful birds he loved so much, he kept in the same house that he himself lived in. He was able to have conversations with them. He would take care of them as though they were children.
He was a kind and simple man, and he loved the birds. He protected them, tried to keep them as happy as possible, and he certainly loved them.