The Bluebird Diaries – Day 16 (April 5, 2012)

No egg today! Sorry to keep teasing. We really thought the nest was ready, but they continued to fine-tune it this morning. The male arrived at precisely 6:45 a.m. but the female slept in and didn’t arrive until about 7:15. Their work today wasn’t quite as feverish as the past two days. It may be difficult to tell from this angle, but the indentation which will eventually house the eggs is notably deeper as each day passes.

As promised, here is a picture of the grass around the nest box. I mentioned yesterday much of what the female brings is too big to fit in the hole. She ends up dropping it and taking in a lesser amount. Again today we saw a robin picking through the bluebirds’ leftovers. In fact later in the day the grass was clear!

Yes, those are dandelions. Out of respect for our visiting wildlife (and our dog!) we use no chemical fertilizers on the lawn in our back yard. Instead, we enjoy the “pretty yellow flowers” while they are here. 🙂

Because the bluebird action seems quite repetitive these days, I thought you might like to be introduced to some of our other regular visitors. Today we’ll talk about our House Finches. We tend to call them “red finches” which is neither correct nor entirely true, since the females aren’t red!

Here is a male. He matches the leaves on this crabapple tree!

Finch

And here is a female (after a trip to the birdbath).

"You looking at me?"

House finches are very common at backyard bird feeders and they are one of my favorite types of birds. They’re very social and don’t disrupt the nesting of others. They are constant companions of the bluebirds. It’s almost as if they are friends! They’ll often nest in a hanging planter or an evergreen tree. We had an unsuccessful nesting attempt in a blue spruce tree last year, and we hope they’ll try again! A few years ago (maybe 6 or 7?) House Finches were threatened by a persistent strain of conjunctivitis (pink eye) which caused many to perish. I haven’t noticed it in any of our visitors in many years.

That’s just a little bit about one of our favorite types of visitors. Check back tomorrow for any new bluebird news!

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