Saturday, July 29, 2006

Finch parents



A couple of weeks ago a nice girl (who reads my blog) came up and bought this beautiful blue-backed female gouldian finch from me.





When she emailed me, she asked if I also had a non-crested female society finch available. I thought I had 7 society finches - 4 males and 3 females, but when I went in the aviary to search, I only found 2 females and they were both crested. I was puzzled, but decided that my missing female must have been one of the two that I gave to a neighbor. Naturally, the day after the gouldian was picked up by her new owner, my "missing" female society finch showed up. She had been sitting tight in one of the nest boxes. I dragged the ladder into the aviary to peek at what she had going and there were 2 brand new hatchlings in the nest - one society finch and one gouldian finch. Even as new hatchlings, it's easy to tell the difference between the two. Gouldian babies have very unusual blue mouth spots which society finches don't have. I didn't take a photo of them that day, but the photo below shows some newly hatched gouldian finches & you can see the mouth spots.





Well, even though one of the kids was obviously not hers, I was fully confident that my society finches would take good care of both babies. They are wonderful foster parents and many gouldian finch breeders also keep society finches on hand to raise abandoned gouldian finch babies (gouldian parents are sometimes a bit undependable).


Fast forward a couple of weeks - both babies doing fine - photo below...





Two days ago I saw a pair of gouldians going in and out of this same nest box. Hmm, this might not be good. If they had taken over the nest (and it looked like they had), I was pretty sure they wouldn't be feeding the society finch baby. Society finch babies have a much smaller mouth, no bright blue markings and they do a very strange twisting of the neck thing when they are begging for food. I couldn't imagine that the gouldians would handle that wierdness.


So, again with the ladder and sure enough the gouldian baby's crop was full and the society finch was empty. I mixed up some baby bird formula and fed him. I left him in the nest box, hoping that the society parents would get back in to feed him. No luck - that day I went in every couple of hours and fed him. Today I gave up hope that the society parents would re-claim the nest, so I removed the society baby and took over as mommy.





He's very cute, as you can see!


5 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

Those blue dots are really interesting - so different from what you see in wild baby birds.

Is your aviary *outside* or part of your house?

Stephanie said...

That's a beautiful blue backed female. I've got a little one that I'm waiting to color up that I think is blue. I can't wait to see!

Lynne said...

Susan-
I really enjoy seeing and reading about your birds. What are those blue dots for? Do the dots have a function? They look a bit like baby bird braces!

VERY cute!

Paws For Mercy said...

I'm just wondering if it's normal for wild house finches to leave a single chick alone all night without returning to feed it . I am not certain mom is returning as much as she did and the baby is getting less active.i am not disturbing it and just watching closes thru my back door window just on the other side of the carport but did check just now to see if it felt warm with my finger and it felt slightly war.er almost equal to my temp. I haven't seen. Trace of on since mud afternoon day and I'm trying worry. No sign f dad either since yesterday and I fear it won't make it thru the night without a little supplemental feeding or the parents returning or is it normal to suddenly stop sleeping in her nest with her chick like she has up until tonight i can usually see her tail sticking out and tonight she's no where to be found. Am I just worrying for nothing and mom will return in the morning or has age abandoned her chick .this is the moms 2nd nest over my car door in the awning so it's odd she's not home tonight

Paws For Mercy said...

I'm just wondering if it's normal for wild house finches to leave a single chick alone all night without returning to feed it . I am not certain mom is returning as much as she did and the baby is getting less active.i am not disturbing it and just watching closes thru my back door window just on the other side of the carport but did check just now to see if it felt warm with my finger and it felt slightly war.er almost equal to my temp. I haven't seen. Trace of on since mud afternoon day and I'm trying worry. No sign f dad either since yesterday and I fear it won't make it thru the night without a little supplemental feeding or the parents returning or is it normal to suddenly stop sleeping in her nest with her chick like she has up until tonight i can usually see her tail sticking out and tonight she's no where to be found. Am I just worrying for nothing and mom will return in the morning or has age abandoned her chick .this is the moms 2nd nest over my car door in the awning so it's odd she's not home tonight