We usually remove the wreath so this does not happen ... but since it has,
we have "blocked" access to the front door.
Mom laid 5 eggs and all hatched by April 30th ... and the last
baby finch fledged on May 15th.
Pictures/video get better
as you scroll down to see how it all unfolded.
Also check out a nearby
Great Horned Owl Nest and
Five big, hungry, and demanding mouths!
Remote controlled Canon 7D takes pictures of house finches nesting on my front door
Use the controls to play, step, pause, slow-down, and/or speed-up the animation.
May 11th: Birds are even bigger, more wing flapping, and nest is "smaller" - watch video
May 13th: Five Baby Finches "pose" for the photographer - mouseover image to see related shot
Side profile of the Baby Finches - mouseover to see what they do when Mom shows up
May 13th: Last hi-res pictures of the Finch family before fledging - only Dad is missing
So the morning of May 14th, I walk out in the early morning to setup the camera gear and I see what I think is Mom on the perched on the edge of the nest. Except she doesn't fly away. So I take a few steps closer until I'm about two feet away as I realize this is one of the chicks ... and then BAMM ... off it flies - first flight! Turns out this was actually the second finch to fledge as its sibling has taken flight about a minute earlier. Here's the time-lapse video from the webcam of 'em fledging.
Baby Finch about to take that really scary looking step off the nest!
May 14th: Last image taken by the webcam of all five baby finches - w/Mom even!
Baby Finch #1 fledged 95 seconds later after spreading its wings here
Baby Finch #2 fledged 23 seconds later after this shot
Some misc. observations from spending a lot of time watching these House Finches:
While I didn't capture egg #1 or #2 on video, eggs #3, #4, and #5 were all laid in the early morning on consecutive days.
Momma was on the eggs almost 7x24, leaving for only short breaks with Daddy bringing her food
Egg #1 hatched in the mid-afternoon, but Eggs #2-5 hatched in the early morning.
All hatched in consecutive days except #3 #4 were the same day.
Incubation period was about 13 days.
Momma quickly removes the empty egg shell, eating most of it, presumably for calcium.
The baby chicks appear almost hairless at birth, but look fuzzy within hours.
Open eyes are visible in a couple of days, as is noise from the chicks.
Once all the eggs are hatched, the Mom spends an increasing time away from the nest during the day.
However, at night, she sleeps on top of the chicks. Unknown where the Dad goes.
The Mom spends a lot of time tidying up the nest ... and eating poop - yes, she really does!
The Mom almost always faces to the left and feeding is usually done from the right side of the nest.
The chicks are quite demanding to get food, but the parents seem to parcel it out fairly.
The nest rapidly gets pretty darn crowded as the baby chicks get bigger.
On the night of May 8th, Momma Finch did not spend the night at the nest - first time.
First sign of baby finch spreading its wings on May 9th
Behavior changed on May 10th as parents would chirp (off camera) to the babies (which really got their attention) in an apparent attempt to encourage them to fly. They would also feed the babies, but then stand-off, making them reach more. Quite a bit of wing movement was seen and I thought one would fledge, but didn't happen.