Finch nest, second year

Last spring a pair of house finches made a nest at the top of the post on my front porch and raised a family. I was too slow removing the nest after they fledged, and they raised a second brood in the same nest. I suppose it could have been an entirely different pair of house finches, but that seems unlikely. After the second set of chicks left the nest, I waited to see if they'd raise a third family, but it seems like two is the limit. I then left the nest up for the rest of the summer and fall for no reason other than pure laziness.

Then we realized that a pair of Carolina wrens were using the nest as a roost during the coldest parts of winter, making me glad I didn't remove it. They'd snuggle down into the nest in the evening, taking shelter from the wind and snow. Even though I did finally remove the nest this spring (ok, maybe it fell down), the finches are back.


They've decided they want another nest on my porch, so they're building another one.

I say "they're" building, when really it's the female that does all of the work. The male may help her collect little twigs, but she's the one doing the building.

Her mate sits below in the little Japanese maple and sings. Finch song is quite nice and bubbly -- very happy -- so it's nice to hear just outside our window.

He's probably guarding the area while she goes about her work.

She's really going at it too, building a nest that is seemingly twice as tall as last year:

Maybe she wants more room this year, or maybe she doesn't want the chicks to be able to poop out of the nest this time -- which would be fine by me, as I never really got all of it cleaned off the walls from last year. Luckily for my photos the new tall nest has covered most of the stains. (I think I'll need to do some repainting this summer, after the nest has gone quiet again.)

Too-tall nest or not, they're ready to raise another family, and I'm ready to watch them again.

Enjoy your last days of freedom miss, as you'll soon be exhausted caring for those chicks!


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TheGardeningBlog  – (March 31, 2011 at 7:19 AM)  

Oh how beautiful and what a joy to be able to watch this.

PS: At least he sings to her while he supervises :)

LisaJennings  – (March 31, 2011 at 9:19 AM)  

How exciting and what beautiful pictures! I have house finches nesting on the front porch this year too.. only problem is they are right under the entry way and tend to fly out in your face as you come home... hopefully the disturbance isn't too much to discourage them from raising a couple broods there!

Alan  – (March 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM)  

Lisa: This nest is slightly off to the side, but we still have the "fly in your face" issue. I think we're used to it by now though, and barely even flinch when it happens. =)

Carolyn ♥  – (March 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM)  

Sweet post. We enjoy watching the same birds in our gardens. They do have a lovely song.

anne  – (March 31, 2011 at 7:07 PM)  

great post & photos(especially the one with the 2 birds.) Cheery finch songs and spring really go together. Also, is the extra tall nest unusual (as in, have you ever seen one like this before?) It looks so different than the standard nest size!

Sharon Lovejoy  – (March 31, 2011 at 7:53 PM)  

Thanks so much for this posting. I read a few years ago about nesting boxes being used by many species of birds (the book was Birds Asleep by Skutch). Since then I make sure nesting boxes are clean and that nests remain up too. What a joy.

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Ginny  – (March 31, 2011 at 8:32 PM)  

We had a pair of finches nest over over our roll out awning on the deck for two seasons in a row. I loved watching them. I love this season on the year when the birds are so busy building their nests!

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