Baybeez!

I went to get the newspaper this morning, with a rueful glance at the hanging basket. I gave it a small tap, in homage of what might have been: four little finch chicks.

Then I saw – and heard – the mother finch. She swooped from a nearby tree to the fence below the front porch, chirping at me as noisily as she ever did. Was I ever pleased to see her! At least she was still around and hadn’t abandoned her nest, even though her eggs probably weren’t going to hatch. But, I wondered, why was she still around? Had she still not realized that there were no babies? Or – or – wait a minute! Was that something in her beak? Something that a chick might eat? A chick that had actually hatched?

My fear of what I might see was suddenly overcome by wild hope. I had to look in that basket.

Heart pounding, I gingerly took down the hanging basket. The mother finch chattered at me even louder, and made a couple of half-lunges towards me. Holding my breath, I carefully parted some begonia leaves. Her nattering got even more frantic, and she dived at me again. I ignored her, and spotted at least two wee fuzzy brown heads in the tiny nest, with one set of beady birdy eyes looking right at me. I quickly replaced the hanging basket and dashed back into the house, closing the front door carefully.

I ran up the stairs, shouting at DD. “BABIES! There’s BABIES!”

DD was just as excited, and clattered downstairs with her phone, ready to take photos of the baby birds. But we decided not to disturb the nest again today – thereby also avoiding being deafened and divebombed by the mother finch. Maybe we’ll try to get some photos in a couple of days.

I don’t know exactly how many babies there are yet, nor when they actually hatched. I don’t know why they are so quiet, either. But I do know that I am extremely relieved that they are there in that hanging basket and that I was worrying the other day for absolutely nothing.

Oh, silly me.

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13 responses to “Baybeez!

  1. Aren’t you glad there are no diapers to change?

    (sorry I hit post too quick)

  2. I think you better stop watering that basket now. You don’t want damp baby birds.

    • Nora – I know, but this basket is so visible, right at my front door! It’s going to look very awful very quickly if I don’t water it, but worst of all is that the big green begonia leaves that currently protect the nest will no longer do so if I completely stop watering. So maybe just a tiny bit of water? If the mama bird allows it?

  3. I have small pots of live mealworms delivered once a week through the breeding season which I put in a special feeder for any parent birds who need them. I’ve had blue tits, starlings, magpies but mostly robins. I figure that since bird numbers are in general decline, anything I can do to make their job easier has to be a good thing. And the mealworms aren’t yucky to deal with at all.

    • Mrs Jones – City girl that I am, it never occurred to me that very busy parent birds would appreciate people supplying food for them. What a lovely idea!

  4. Oh god, yes, they will get noisier. Definitely. Much, much noisier. It will be so much fun!

  5. Aww — you’re a new mom — once again.

    • mrwriteon – This time was a lot easier, I must say. I didn’t gain nearly as much weight, for example, nor did I have to visit the doctor with a urine sample once a month. 🙂

  6. OMG granny Pinklea! How exciting.
    In other news, I was divebombed 3x by an angry red winged blackbird this morning while walking along, minding my own business. They are nasty critters when they want to be.

    • VioletSky – So, bird expert, when I didn’t see any action for those two or three days, were the eggs in the process of hatching? And why are the babies so quiet right now? Is it because they are so new? Will they get noisier as they get older?