Finch nest update

If you remember, there is a house finch nest on our front porch. Here's one of the original images:

It turns out that although that photo shows three chicks, there were actually five chicks crammed in there!

I don't know if all five survived, and although I spent much time poised with the camera hoping to get a shot of all five at once, it seems the parents don't return to feed them as often as I thought. I spent 45 minutes standing there once only to give up in frustration.

Here's what the chicks looked like 6 days after the above photo:

Notice they're leaving their "droppings" on the edge of the nest. They do this because a big mess on the ground is an indication to a predator that a nest is above. With some species the parents take the droppings away for the same reason.

Again, I couldn't get a photo of all five at once.

So two days ago I noticed that the chicks were looking pretty mature and were really crammed in the nest. Because I was in the middle of something else and my camera was not handy, I was going to wait until the next morning to take the photos though.

When I went to shoot the photo yesterday morning, this is what I saw:

Everybody else had left the nest, and I had missed my photo opportunity! Only this last chick remained, and it soon was coaxed out by its parents. A quick look around the yard and I didn't see any of the youngsters, but mom and dad were in the tree nearby so the chicks must be too:

One interesting thing is that the parents are still going to the empty nest. I don't know if they will reuse the nest again, or if I should remove it. Some species won't reuse nests, while some will. I guess I'll have to get the step ladder out and take a look in there later today.

I'm disappointed that I didn't take more photos during the process, but I didn't know that it would only take about 14 days from hatching to fledging! Wow.

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