Live Webcam of House Finch Bird Nest
Five day old Baby Finches
First baby finch hatched on May 25th, 2008 - four more to go (one didn't make it)
Checking to see if any eggs left in the nest
A quick look at the baby chicks - they are squirming quite a bit - note webcam
First webcam image of two baby finches clamoring for Momma's attention & food
Proud parents share a private moment - more examples: 1 and 2
And then Dad flys off to get more food
First image of all four hungry finches!
May 30th - Baby Finch Chicks are less than a week old
Poppa Finch seems to be saying "How did I get signed up for this?!?"
But being a good Dad, he brings an early lunch to the baby finches
Mom isn't mad at Dad - she's fanning the baby chicks - watch video
Dad looks on as Mom kinda wonders how she got signed up for this too ... ;-)
And the baby finches start clamoring the next morning - another image
Poppa Finch flys the coop!
But then is scolded by Momma for not helping out with feeding - video of lunchtime
The whole Finch family that evening ... and guess what ... chicks are hungry again!
Sunset pictures with a gentle flash - first time I've seen the eyes opened
Webcam picks up the flash as a red glow
Momma Finch trying to restore order in the nest - smackdown video!
Don't mess with stern looking Momma! A birder said Momma was nest cleaning.
Taking close-up pictures of the sleeping baby finches - time-lapse video
Some people say they are sooo cute ... some people say yikes! ;-)
Typical baby finch breakfast behavior when Mom and/or Dad show up
First sign of feathers from a baby finch
They were just fed a couple of hours ago!
OK - who wants to be fed first?!?
Mom and Dad seem to be having a heated discussion here - related picture
Colorful closeup of Pappa Finch feeding all four chicks - another one
Finch chicks are getting bigger and even more ansy for food when parents show up
Finch Chick spreads its wings - second time I've seen this
Look at this wing spread - won't be long before they start trying to fly ... to survive!
VERY BAD SAD NEWS. So I was puzzled why I haven't seen all four of the babies since the afternoon of June 5th. Only three of them were popping up for Mom and Dad Finch when they stopped by with food. And then it seemed only two. I did my once/day check of the nest, and while it's hard to tell how many are there when they are sleeping, it was obvious when only ONE was left. My initial thoughts is they were flying the coop. However, the webcam got a snapshot of the culprit ... and then I realized what was happening. Yea, I know this is nature ... but still darn sad.
Four baby finches - note timestamp - 7 minutes left for one of them
First baby finch is grabbed by the Blue Jay
Now only three finches show up for Mom
Only three (sleeping) finches left at 10:42AM on June 6th - 34 minutes left for one of 'em
The webcam didn't get an image of the Blue Jay grabbing the second baby finch,
but I'm 99% certain that happened at 11:16AM on June 6th. The Blue Jay then
returned a couple of hours later to grab the third baby finch. While there are
only these two frames in the archival images, I happened to be watching this
on the real-time video feed and the Blue Jay just grabs a chick and flys off - all happens very quickly.
So now we are down to one baby finch - picture taken at 2:24PM on June 6th - note unhatched egg
I appreciate all the nice notes of condolence I've received - yes, nature can
be cruel and unforgiving, but I had grown fond of those little baby finches.
I didn't know what to do at this point and figured it was just a matter of
time before the Blue Jay returned and grabbed the last baby finch.
HOWEVER, the last Finch Chick actually jumped/flew off the nest ...
with lots of encouragement from Mom & Dad.
Ironically, my wife was watching in real-time and called me
on the phone - "the baby jumped off the nest - go check on it now!" -
so you'll see me pop up in the webcam very quickly of the video footage.
I confirmed the baby was gone ... but turned out he was about 20 feet away on the rocks - looking fairly chipper as seen below.
Not only were Mom & Dad Finch around, but many others (extended family?) who were all making a lot of noise.
I went inside to grab some gloves to put him back in the nest (in hindsight,
I should have just watched from a distance), and when I came out,
the baby was gone.
Based on the racket in a nearby dense tree, I think he may have made it in there ... and I'd like to believe at least one of the baby finches made it!
Picture taken a few minutes later about 20 feet from the finch nest
There were at a bunch of birds raising holy heck this whole time on the nearby tree
Not sure if this is Momma Finch ... but certainly looks concerned
Remember that there were 5 eggs originally, but only 4 finch chicks ... so one did not hatch. Guess who came back to grab that egg for breakfast the next morning? Yep, Mr. Blue Jay - as seen in this video of his 9-second visit. There's also video footage that add in visits from the Finch parents before/after - they stopped coming after this.
Things got real quiet after that as the nest was basically abandoned
It was darn sad to see things end this way as I had grown fond of the House Finches (especially the babies) and enjoyed watching 'em hatch & grow, with lots of work from Mom & Dad. However,
mother nature can be cruel (especially if you are lower on the food chain) and
I'm sure the Blue Jay chicks needed to eat. Hopefully, some birds will return next year and we can again watch nesting, hatching, and feeding ... but no predation this time perhaps.
June 16th Update: So I was hanging out on our back deck this
evening ... and all of a sudden, the normal noise of the
birds going "chirp, chirp, chirp"
became much louder and piercing. My wife (who has much better eyes than me)
came out as she also wondered what the heck was up.
Then we saw a Blue Jay come flying out of a nearby tree.
Damn, the Baby-Finch Killer had struck again.
The racket continued at a feverish pitch ... and then we saw a larger bird (with something in its talons) being chased by ... two Blue Jays. My wife believes it was some sort of small Hawk was flying off with a baby Blue Jay! Once again, this is nature (which can be cruel) ... and a graphic example of why it's good to be on top of the food chain! ;-)