Some house finches built a nest in the wreath on our front door. We relocated the wreath to a safer location on a nearby wall and were excited to see five little eggs in the nest a week later. After the eggs hatched, all we could see in the nest were little tiny fluttering puffs of downy feathers, each about the size of a nickel. I'm not sure if the fluttering was their heartbeats or lungs. They've about doubled in size but are still very small, delicate and vulnerable, with tightly shut eyes and little yellow beaks.
Here's a video showing how they look today. Sorry it's so blurry, I shot it with a digital still camera while teetering on a ladder up in a dark corner of the porch. Hopefully you can make out a couple of heads and beaks.
Anyway, I guess I started getting all maternal myself and decided we should provide some food for this little family. So last weekend, we put up a new bird feeder and filled it with Nyjer seed on one side and sunflower seeds on the other. It took a few days before the finches discovered it. But then not only did "our" finches find it, it looks like every other finch in the neighborhood did as well! I can't believe it, the birdfeeder is covered with brilliantly colored birds from sunup to sundown. It’s so exciting, the birds are mesmerizing and quite a distraction. Passing cars are slowing down to watch the spectacle. I thought I’d bought enough seeds to last about a month (I’m brand new to this) but so far, they’ve eaten half the seeds in four days. Oh boy what have I gotten myself into here? Fortunately my sister, who has four birdfeeders and is an old pro, said they’ll eat you out of house and home if you let them, and it’s okay to let the feeder sit empty for a few days before refilling it again. After all, the finches were surviving quite nicely before we came along.
Here's some video footage of our new friends. Sorry about the visual quality. If I'm going to continue posting video clips, I'll have to borrow a real video camera.