Finch Nest - May 2015

We have a house finch that is nesting on the back porch of our house. I have a new raspberry pi 2 with a camera board just looking for a project. So I am taking videos of this finch from dawn to dusk and posting them here.

I am trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. I would love to put a mirror angled above the nest so that I could see the eggs (you can see the eggs in the egg rolling video). But, I feel that would just be rude.

I always have the most recent video here. After you watch it you can hit the reload button button on your browser and you should see the next ones. I only take new videos when it is light enough outside which is between 6am PST and 8pm PST. If you hit reload outside of those hours you will just be watching a rerun.

I am also looking at a lot of the videos, throwing the very boring ones out (she spends a lot of time sitting patiently on her nest) and putting some of the more interesting videos here.

As I go through and watch all of the videos, I put little notations in a log file that tells the basics of what was happening in the nest every minute of the day between 6 am and 8 pm.

I look at each 30 second video in a digest form which takes me about 3 seconds. Since I have about one video per minute, this means that it takes me 3 seconds per minute (or three minutes per hour). This means that it takes me less than an hour a day to keep up with the finch family. It is actually a bit more than that because if things look interesting enough in digest form, I will then watch the whole 30 second video to see if it should be on the web site.


All videos and images are copyrighted by Jon Hale. Permission to use for non-commercial use is granted (but please let me know what you are using it for - I am curious).

Notes on June 15, 2015

The last finch left the nest yesterday, June 14th! Most of the departures were not captured on video. On the 15th there were a few visits to the old homestead!

Highlights for June 13 to June 15, 2015

four left Four left in nest. Practice flapping

excitement They get so exicted after seeing somebody fly

Last four feeding Dad feeds four for the last time

Only three Only three now, somebody snuck out!

Almost ready Almost ready!

Dad feeds three Dad feeds three

Chickens out! Almost does it - Chickens out!

Only Two for Mom. Mom feeds two!

Just you and me! Just you and me!

Small Family Feed The small family feed

Soon Soon

Yeah, tomorrow! Tomorrow were busting out of this joint!

Dad Hog Dad hogging

Today! Today's the day, I feel it!

Piquant! What is that piquant seasoning on this nest part?

Almost ready Looks ready to me!

A rest before leaving Last video before the last chick leaves.

I used to live here when I was little. A day after the last one left one of the kids comes by to check out the old nest!

Je Me Souviens Dad and Mom thinking back on family life!

Notes on June 13, 2015

We are down to four chicks. There has been big increase in interest in wing flapping lately. Two of the birds have taken the big step. I suspect that by the end of the day the nest might be empty.

You need to watch very closely the first seconds of the second chick's exit from the nest as the chick bravely takes the leap from the Snorks box to the open-beaked amazement of the siblings.

Unfortunately, the first chick left at a time when we were not capturing video.

Highlights for June 12 to June 13, 2015

flap flap

Five Chicks Now One less mouth to feed

flap flap

venturing Sporks and Back

sporks Sporks

sporks Sporks

sporks Sporks

sporks Sporks

Feeding Five Mom Brings some food, then Dad brings food

Still Feeding Five Still Feeding Five

flap flap

Still Five Still Five

Activity Lots of flapping and jumping about

flap flap

Still Five Still Five

So Ready So Ready

Hubbub Hubbub

Thinking Thinking about it

Leaving the nest The first few seconds shows a bird leaving

Who's Next? Down To Four - Who's Next?

Bad Snacks! Anything good to eat around here?

Mom Feeding Four Mom Feeding Four

Notes on June 12, 2015

They are really interested in flying. I see them doing a lot of wing flapping. They do a whole lot of wing flapping right after one of their parents has just flown off. I think that it will not be long now before they fly off. In one video a chick is standing on the edge of the nest and then flies off ( OK, maybe just trips ) and ends up embarassed in the Snorks box.

Highlights for June 10 to June 12, 2015

Wing Flapping There is starting to be a lot of wing flapping!

F & F Feed and Flap

Fam Feed Family feeding

Dad Feed and Flap Dad Feed and Flap

Flapping Wing Practice

Flap for Mom Flap for mom!

Plenty of room Plenty of room

Pile of flappers Pile of flappers

All still here Still six chicks

Snorks Box to the rescue! First one leaves the nest! But comes right back

Lots of climbing! Jolly time in the nest!

Practice Lots of Practice Flying

Preening and Cleaning Cleaning time

Strolling Just going for a stroll around the nest. Don't mind me!

Everybody flap! Everybody's doing it!

Notes on June 10, 2015

Well today is the seventeenth day for a lot of these chicks. According to at least one website it is fledging time. The nest certainly has looked crowded enough over the past few days. The new feathers are all growing in nicely and the chicks like to flap their wings about.

Highlights for June 6 to June 10, 2015

Cleaning Lots of cleaning

Preening Chicks preening

Turn Around It's tough when you are turned the wrong way

Dessert What's for Dessert?

Nest life Life in the nest

Dad feeding Another feeding from Dad

Mom Teasing Mom teasing the chicks

Oh Boy, Oh Boy Anticipation

Warm day 90 degrees and I'm wearing my sister for a hat!

Beak Stuck Help, my beak got stuck in this crap!

Jostling Jostling shows good feather progress

Missed out Backwards at feeding time

Wing Practice Thinking about flying?

Dad feeds Six Still Six for Dad To Feed

Rearrangement Rearrangement

Feather work Feathers need a lot of work

Flapping Busy Nest, Flapping

More wing practice Wing practice

More Food Feeding time is the best

Even more crowded The nest is more crowded every day

Lots of flapping Wing practice!

More flapping Wing practice, preening

Six for supper! Still six for supper

Something interesting Something interesting!

Not much headroom Heads are up against the ceiling

Scratching A good scratch

Notes on June 6, 2015

What a busy week in the nest. For the first few days Mom was gone a lot, maybe only coming back for five minutes an hour. In the past few days she has been doing a lot of serious tending inside the nest.

She gets her head down and starts pushing around, so I can't always see what she is up to. Maybe cleaning the nest, maybe dealing with mites, maybe helping out the new feathers.

As the chicks grow, it seems like the nest shrinks. Eyes are open now and they are still enthusiastic feeders.

There are lots of new videos showing life around the nest.

Highlights for June 2 to June 6, 2015

Poop Removal Service Poop Removal Service

six No doubt about it! Six chicks!

Grooming Grooming help from Mom

Sleepy Time Sleepy time around the nest

Feeding Dad feeds the gang

Open mouth napping If I just sleep with my mouth open maybe somebody will feed me

Jostling Lots of jostling in the nest

Waiting Plenty of time to wait!

Adjustments Everybody needs to adjust their positions

Good Nest Manners I don't know if they poop inside the nest, but they are getting good at sticking their butts over the edge to do the deed.

Number Six is Missing! I know there are six chicks but one of them missed this feeding

Six again! Everybody is back for this meal

Typical Typical Nest Activity

Fire in the hole! Seems a little rude to me

All together now. Choir Practice?

Minding the kids Not as easy sitting on this nest as it used to be.

Togetherness It is nice when they take a nap on your chest.

What's happening here? Bad Dreams?

Crowd Surfing Crowd Surfing

Tending She spends a lot of time tending the chicks

Cleaning? Grooming? Lots of time devoted to this behavior

Afternoon Meal Big Family Supper

Still six Six good eaters

Feeding from behind Over the sholder feeding technique

Feathers Feathers!

Diaper Service? Dad helps out around the nest!

Dad seems to like this method. Over the sholder again.

Grooming Grooming

Legs and Beaks It's all legs and beaks!

Discontent Somebody in the pile doesn't look happy

Cleanliness Cleanliness

Feather work? Working on the feathers?

Showing dad the new Feathers! Great display of new feathers.

small nest! Do you remember when this nest seemed so big?

Dad is coming! Anticipation

What's happening? I don't know what is going on here

Notes on June 1, 2015

I have been gone since the 29th. The finches are getting big. Both parents are spending most of their time foraging. The mom is spending less than half of her time on the nest.

I think all six eggs hatched. I think in some of the highlight videos that I can count up to six beaks.

If you watch the highlights, you might figure out how they keep their nest from filling up with chick excrement. It is less appetizing than watching them regurgitate into each other's mouths.

Highlights for May 29 to June 1, 2015

Me too Dad feeds everybody but Mom. She wants some too!

At last. At last mom gets some.

Family Lunch Lunch for the family

Dad with Dinner Dad brings Dinner

Mom feeding Mom feeds the brood

Please Please! Mom! I am Hungry

Yay Mom! Mom Feeds Again

Dad to the rescue Dad to the rescue when Mom runs out

Poop Removal Mom eats some tidbit that the kid poops out.

What about Me? I guess it is not mother's day

Dad feeding Dad feeds the kids

Too much pushing Lots of pushing, not much feeding

One on One A little one on one time.

Quality time Quality time

Stretch Stretch for your Supper.

Come home chorus Mom - come home

Count the Chicks! I think there are six chicks.

Is it lunchtime yet! Not yet.

All up for lunch! I count six

Some surprising food Is that bird poop? Tasty though!

So big They are getting so big

Family One big happy family

Fuzzballs Balls of fuzz in the nest

Everybody gets some Sharing the wealth

Scrum Looks like a rugby scrum in there

Heads or Tails Ma! You are sitting on me!

Steady pressure A little steady pressure will quiet them

Dad feeding Nice Feeeding

Golden Light Golden Light

Something for everyone Mom has something for everyone

Doody Duty Dad is on the poop removal squad

Dinnertime Dad brings dinner

Notes on May 28, 2015

Wow! So much has happened in the past few days. All of the chicks have now hatched. I haven't counted the chicks, but I suspect that there are six because there were six eggs. Now there are no shells left in the nest. In the highlights section, you can see the two methods of taking the old shells out of the nest. Either fly it out, or just eat it and reclaim that calcium.

The dad is really "Birding up". He comes by a few times an hour now. Sometimes he feeds Mom and she then feeds the kids, but lately he has started feeding the chicks directly.

Now the mom actually leaves the nest for over twenty minutes and usually dad comes by during that time to check up (and maybe provide a nourishing meal).

It looks like the chicks are growing rapidly. Just a few days ago I could hardly see their heads when they were being fed. Now I can see them clearly.

I took a look with a hand mirror to try and get a peek at the chicks while the parents were out. They were just one big grey ball of fuzz.

Highlights May 25-28, 2015

Shell Removal Removes shell from nest (only watch beginning)

Good Calcium there Eating egg shell

Family Meal Family meals are the best

Eating together Togetherness

When Mom's Away Dad feeds the kids

Chick Eating A good look at one of the chicks

Dad brings dinner 6:17pm This is happening more and more.

Everybody gets some 6:18pm Dad feeding the chicks

Long dinner time 6:19pm This feeding lasted four minutes.

Don't leave dad out 10:07am Mom is feeding the chicks when Dad shows up to make it a full family experience!

Fuzzy head You can see the chick's fuzzy head

Dad feeding on his own Feasting with Dad

Notes on May 25, 2015

Chicks !!!

There is at least one and they are pretty deep in the nest still, so we can seldom see much of them. There was a whole lot of feeding this morning and she was paying a lot of attention inside the nest. I thought at first that she was just turning the eggs since she has been doing a lot of that lately.

But then I noticed a video where she was carrying a part of a broken egg shell out of the nest. So I went back and looked closer. I see that in one video the dad actually feeds a chick after feeding mom.

So, lots of highlights this morning.

Favorites for May 25, 2015

Long Feeding Very long slow feeding

Long Feeding Very long slow feeding

He feeds the chicks!? I think he is feeding chicks!

More food Feeding mom again

Tending something Tending Chicks? Eggs?

Start of 4 minute feeding start of another very long feeding - about 4 minutes

more tending Tending something

I see a little bit of chick Chick Feeding with a little bit of visible chick

more chick feeding Chick Feeding

Chatting! He comes by with lots to say.

Chick Feeding Chick Feeding?

Shell removal Taking a half shell from the nest

shell eating Eating some shell

3 minute feeding - part 1 another long slow feeding 3 minutes

3 minute feeding - part 2 another long slow feeding

3 minute feeding - part 3 another long slow feeding

Visible chick feeding Chick is visible at end of chick feeding

Spot the chick Chick is visible at end of chick feeding

still unhatched egg Even with the chicks there still at least one unhatched egg

Favorites for May 18 - 23, 2015

Most of the time she has been been just quietly sittting on the nest. She seems to be sleeping a fair amount. She spends lots more time rolling the eggs around than she used to. She spends more time preening herself than she used to. I wonder if it gets itchy in that nest.

Visiting the nest Atticus comes by when she is gone.

Nothing like a good chat Feeding and chatting.

wing Beating Lots of wing flapping while eating - settling

Why does she do that? good egg roll

Evening food Good feeding in poor light

A little together time sometimes he comes by and they fly off together.

Watching the egg roll Atticus comes by to watch egg rolling, then they chat

Talking after breakfast Early morning eat and greet

more feeding feeding

More egg rolling Atticus watches egg rolling with singing

Singing singing

Just stopping by stopping by to say hi to the eggs

food good feeding

food food

beak smacking right after a feeding - lots of beak smacking

Notes on May 19, 2015

At a point when she was out of her nest I used a hand mirror to look into the nest without having to get close to it. Turns out she has six eggs in there!

Favorites for May 15 - 18, 2015

Most of the time she has been been just quietly sittting on the nest. But sometimes something exciting happens. I have taken to calling her "Scout" and the male "Atticus" (Know other famous finches? We may need more names in a few weeks).

Homecoming Returning back to the nest. She goes off for about 5 to 10 minutes each hour. This time Atticus comes back with her

Prolonged Feeding Atticus delivers a long lunch.

Visible Eggs Eggs show up while she is rollling them about.

Standing By Eggs show up in the nest while she is standing next to it.

Lunch Feeding Atticus is back for lunch feeding.

Another Feeding Early morning breakfast.

Spot the Egg Lots of egg shuffling.

Favorites for May 14, 2015

Egg Rolling I don't know why she does that. But it is interesting.

Breakfast In Bed Her significant other comes by and feeds her while she just relaxes in the nest!

Postings for May 14, 2015

Leaving Home for a little flyabout. If we open our back door, she gets a bit upset, goes out the back way from her nest and comes back after we shut the door.

Coming Home after a little flyabout.

afterEating After she ate a snack.

just breathing Just hanging out.

Working in the Nest Eggs?


More Singing



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