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.