Friday’s Little Thing

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I have no idea how we managed to acquire finches who are so darned prolific. Every few months, we find another little clutch of eggs in the nest like the one above. These, still warm from their mother’s body heat as she sat on them in the nest, were destined for the compost pile within mere hours of being laid. With six babies now fully grown themselves in the house already, we do not need any more baby birds around here.

But apparently, Phoenix has gotten wise to my composting ways.

The eggs above were laid by one of her daughters who was born right here in this house. It was easy to shoo her off the clutch for a minute and steal those eggs right out of the nest before they had a chance to develop.

Phoenix, though, has gotten sneaky. She had been sitting on the nest quite a lot lately, but every time I shooed her out and had a good look, there was not an egg to be seen. Chalking it up to weird bird behaviour, I thought no more of it until one morning about 3 weeks ago, I spied 2 little eggs in the nest.

I tried valiantly to get Phoenix to move, but she would not budge. I finally resorted to trying to physically remove her myself by grabbing her gently with my fingers, only to be pecked – hard! – by a little beak. I gave up, figuring that with the eggs just newly laid, there was plenty of time to remove them.  I would let her calm down a little before I tried again.

Not 4 hours later, we had 2 brand new hairless hatchlings and Phoenix was looking oh so smug.

My best guess is that she buried the eggs under some of the straw that makes up their nest so that I wouldn’t find them on my daily bird care rounds. I am going to have to keep a sharp eye on that clever, clever mama.

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2 thoughts on “Friday’s Little Thing

    1. Sad, maybe, but necessary. They would not survive in the wild in winter here – we are currently buried under 30+ cm of snow – and with 10 already, I do not have room for more. Better to steal the freshly laid eggs before they develop than to doom the babies to certain death outdoors, or a live of overcrowded unsanitariness indoors. They lay constantly, between 3-6 eggs a clutch, and we seem to get a clutch every 3-4 weeks. That’s a LOT of birds!

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