From Nest to Fledgling.

Have you entered our Mother’s Day Giveaway with Periwinkle Sky? If you haven’t, pop over to this post for your chance to win her beautifully illustrated book, ‘My Mother Gave Me the Moon.” In honor of Mother’s Day, I am delighted to share the story of our resident House Finches with you…
Our little front porch has been a hive of activity. At first we noticed a little House Finch couple building a nest on the inside of the porch pillar. We watched in delight as Mr Finch brought stick and grass and intertwined them into a wonderfully sturdy nest. Then he lined it with fluff, some of which, we are sure, came from our ‘Wool Tree’. Yay… the excitement! All the while, Mrs Finch twittered and flapped nearby. She helped now and then and at last her nest was ready.
Then we noticed her sitting in the nest. She sat for hours, days, and we assumed she had laid her eggs. We waited.
It was when Mr Finch started to make a terrible racket whenever we used our front door that we realized his eggs had hatched. We obliged him by using our side door instead. We watched as the new parents worked tirelessly to feed their chicks…

It was an exciting day when we saw the scrawny little chicks for the first time. At first they were silent when their parents brought them food, stretching out their long necks and opening their mouths wide. But soon they became noisy little things, the presence of their mom or dad sending them into a frenzy of pleading for the treat they were bringing.

We counted that there were 4 chicks. We watched them hustle and scramble for pole position in the nest. We watched them grow. We watched their feathers appear.

Every day, they seemed to double in size.
We noticed how cramped their nest became. We watched as, encouraged by Mr and Mrs Finch, they started to balance on the edge of the nest and flap their wings. They practiced for days… never quite brave enough to take flight.
They became little birds before our eyes.
And then today, as we watched, the first little chick teetered nervously, flapped his wings and, lo and behold, he became a fledgeling. He flew! Just a few yards into the Bower Vine, but he did it. Soon he was followed by his sister. The other two tried but just weren’t brave enough… they stayed safe and sound in the home they have known for 11 days. Perhaps they will fly tomorrow? Perhaps the next day.

I watch Mr and Mrs Finch with a mixture of excitement and sadness. They have worked tirelessly to ready their babies to leave them. And I realize that this is the job of the parent.

Blessings and magic.


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9 Responses

  1. What a sweet adventure! We have only seen a few house finches in our yard, but this year we’ve had a little family. (Though I don’t know where the nest is.) We watched mom & dad feeding one fledgling from our feeder earlier this week.

    Great photos! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amazing, isn’t it! What a privilege it is to be able to watch baby birds grow up. We were able to do this last year with robins, and I remember feeling both proud and sad when they left the nest. It happens so quickly! So much like parenting children.

  3. What gorgeous photos you took! We have tons of house finches that nest against our house (under our lanai). Right now we have two nests and are waiting for the eggs to hatch. They are lovely little birds – very friendly and comfortable with humans. So happy all your babies have done well and fled the nest. Now for the next batch to move in :D

  4. Wow, what an amazing opportunity to have that nest right there, in perfect camera position even! What a lucky family you have! Great photos, thank you so much for sharing


  5. oh thats so sweet, and you have lovely photos of it all. it reminds me of when i was young and i would hunt out birds nests in spring in the hedges at my grandparents’ house and then peek in them every few days until the eggs had hatched and the chicks grew and then flew away. its so magical :)

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