Saturday, February 25, 2012

Newest additions

This one was the first brave soul out of the nesting box

One of and possibly the only good thing about being stuck sick in the house all week has been being able to watch as these little guys finally left the nest. When I was growing up I had a finch that lived forever, way past the life expectancy for finches. My mom had been saying that she missed having a little birds in the house, so I got her three for her birthday back in October. Well three turned into four and four turned into seven a few weeks ago when three eggs hatched. I didn't want to mention the hatchlings until their survival seemed guaranteed. The first couple of weeks of a zebra finch hatchling's life are very delicate. They're often rejected by their parents and thrown out of the nest. Some people try to hand feed them, but they are sooo tiny when they're first born it's easy to feed them too much and they can aspirate on the food. But these little boogers were very well cared for by both parents, but mostly by their father. The male bird did most of the feeding after they hatched and did at least half of the egg sitting before they hatched. Now they have their own little flock.

Right now the hatchlings are all grey, but eventually their beaks will turn orange. The males will get bright orange feathers on their cheeks, stripes on their chests, and spots under their wings while the females will remain mostly grey except for their beaks.

When they were first born they were the ugliest little alien creatures, greyish-pink and completely featherless with eyes that bulged out of their heads. Now they're kind of cute, but still really clumsy. They keep falling off perches and flying into each other. All part of the learning process I guess.

Once they're a little bigger I think the nest box will come out. Seven is definitely enough for now.

These two are still not so sure about the whole thing.

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