About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, April 16, 2010

House Finch Revisited

Hi Everyone,

As some of you know, we have a new house guest that I’m really excited about! I happened upon a nest and four eggs in the wreath on our front door on Sunday, April 4. On Monday, momma laid another egg bringing the total to five. Everyday I would go home and sit in my car with binoculars watching our front door hoping to see what type of bird had made our home their home. On Tuesday, I saw both the papa and momma. After looking through my bird books and talking with Sarah, Wild Birds Unlimited, I’m confident that we have a House Finch as our guest.

When Mark arrived home from Florida, I asked him if there was some way to setup a webcam so we could view the nest. I was becoming a little paranoid that one of our neighbors or someone passing by might call the police on the strange woman sitting in her car with binoculars watching the house! As you can see, my wonderful husband humored me by setting up a webcam. Actually, the one that we had was very blurry so he surprised me by purchasing an updated one. Now we can go home and watch her anytime we want from the comfort of our office!!

It truly is amazing to watch. Frequently, momma will move the eggs around with her beak and then she does this little wiggle to move them around just right. She sits there for hours! When she leaves the nest, it’s not for long (maybe a few minutes). When I was watching from the car, I saw the papa once. I’m pretty sure he was bringing her food. He kept dipping his head down. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him since setting up the webcam but I’m hoping to capture him at some point.

I’m expecting babies around April 19th. Will keep you posted. Kim

Thank you so much for the update! For those of you who don’t know, the House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus is a 6″ talkative little bird that gets their name from their habit of hanging around houses. Originally from California, these birds were sent to New York illegally as "Hollywood Finches" in 1940. Afraid of prosecution, the pet dealers released the birds which have been expanding their territory successfully across the US ever since.

House Finches build their nests in the hanging baskets, wreaths, old nests of other birds or in tiny cavities. The female builds the little cup shaped nest made of twigs, grasses, and leaves and then lays 2 to 6 pale bluish green eggs with fine speckling. The female alone will incubate the eggs for two weeks and then the young will leave the nest about two weeks after hatching.

The male spends his time nearby hunting for seeds to feed the female and protecting the nest. He continues to feed the female who in turn feeds the babies for about a week after the babies have hatched. The female then joins the male in bringing food to the young.

Once the babies have fledged from the nest the male takes over in the young’s basic training while the female may start to raise another brood.

I can’t wait for the next chapter in your story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. We have a House Finch family in a hanging basket on our balcony. Took photos this morning of 4 eggs. Every time we get close to the glass door, the mama flies away, so trying not to bother her much.