A close friend of mine has been documenting on FaceBook about a pair of House Finches who built a nest in one of her hanging plants. My friend Hazel lives in the Minneapolis area and she has agreed to let me share her photos with everyone.
In my years of breeding pet birds, I have watched this happen many times, but I have never before been able to see the full progression in wild birds.
The House Finches knew she was looking in – sometimes she held her phone up to the nest and other times she took the plant down to carefully water the plants and take pictures. They kept an eye on her, and checked on the eggs and/or babies when she was finished though.
This all started on May 22nd this year. The comments with the pictures are Hazel’s and although I have added a few of my own comments, this is pretty much all from Hazel.
She must have laid her first egg on the 23rd, because on the 24th, there were 2 eggs.
Then – there was a problem as Hazel reporting on the 25th.
If this nest had been made completely in the wild, the House Finches would have raised the Cowbird chicks as their own and their own chicks would probably not have survived. They could have been pushed out of the nest or starved as the larger Cowbird chicks got all the food. Although it is fascinating to watch a small bird feeding chicks that are larger that itself, I would much rather watch a bird raise it’s own babies.
At this point, Hazel pretty much left the Finches to incubate the eggs. One more egg was laid during this time.
Hazel didn’t post any pictures of our House Finch babies on the 12th, so of course, I asked.
June 12 – They are good, will post a pic tomorrow. The last egg still hasn’t hatched but she hasn’t removed it so we’ll see what happens. I take the plant down to water it around the nest and momma sits in the tree until I’m done and back to the nest she goes. She trusts me…so that’s good. There are robins nesting and another pair of finches nesting close to our deck…but I’m partial to ours!
I let Hazel know that we would need an apology if she didn’t post pictures, but certainly not for posting more than one in a day. So, she posted a 2nd picture for us the next day.