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House Finches: Winter Minstrels

March 4, 2013

I have my window open this morning and I can hear three things: the wind, Pileated Woodpeckers calling to each other and a House Finch trilling and warbling in the trees. I am enthusiastically willing to proclaim that spring is here…but in reality winter is still in charge. So it is very heartening to hear the House Finch proclaiming that he is ready to take nesting seriously.

hungry fledglings

hungry fledglings and female

And I suppose he has to be ready. The House Finches around here can have 3 broods of very hungry young. The male continues to stuff the beaks of hungry fledglings from the first brood while the female broods a new batch of eggs. The House Finches that I have known seem to favour nesting not far from the ground in very dense shrubs. I have often laughed while watching them feed their young at my feeder. The young are very noisy and persistent – pursuing the parent for more food. They are not always the brightest in actually getting the food down their own throats. There is so much learning to do when you are two days out of the nest!

House Finches like to perch on the hummingbird feeder and drink the sugar water. I have seen an annoyed hummingbirds buzz a House Finch that is “hogging” the hummingbird feeder.

I hope I see more House Finch fledglings at my feeder again this year. In the meantime, I can listen to them sing and watch them sit and eat sunflowers at my feeder.

Summer House Finch Male

Summer House Finch Male

hungry fledglings

hungry fledglings and parents

House Finch Fledglings

feeding your young

it’s never easy



House Finch Fledgling

House Finch Fledgling

photos and writing copyright Joanne Siderius

  1. Wonderful photos!

  2. you have some great pictures. I love that spring is coming and we can visit with the finches again. susan

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