A Pair of House Finches photo by Lisa Williams
As I was driving home from town yesterday, coming down the gravel road that is the last mile to my house, I saw a Western Kingbird sitting on a neighbors fence. The Western Kingbirds have just arrived in my area and this one was in beautiful color. You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about the kingbird when this post is about House Finches? Well, let me explain.
I got out of my car to get a better look at the kingbird as it flew up into the top of a nearby tree. One of my neighbors had been behind me on the road and had turned up his driveway about a quarter mile back. When he saw me intently viewing something with my binoculars, he decided to come back out on the road and approach me to find out just what I was doing.
I explained my birdwatching activities and he and his wife were quick to jump in. They proceeded to tell me about a bird nesting in the potted ivy on their back porch! Since they din’t know what kind of bird it was, I asked if I could come take a look (my biggest fear was that it could be a house sparrow ).
I was much relieved when I saw this nest in the planter.
House Finch Nest photo by Larry Jordan
Sure enough there were a pair of House Finches sitting up in a nearby tree watching as I took this photo. These pretty birds are abundant in our area and most of the U.S. They make a very neat nest , in this case, lined with horse hair.
Male House Finch photo by Mark Schmitt
House Finches will forage on the ground or in vegetation and readily visit backyard feeders. They especially like sunflower and nyjer seed. Without feeders they will forage for grain, seeds and berries including many weed seeds like dandelion.
Female House Finch photo by Mark Schmitt
Depending on weather and location, eggs are laid from February through August with pairs having two or more broods per year. The female will lay 2 to 6 bluish eggs with distinct black specks in each brood. The incubation time is 12 to 14 days and the young fledge two to three weeks later.
According to my neighbors, these finches nest in their planter every year. They told me that I could come over when they hatch and get some pictures of the little ones. When I do, I will write a follow up post with pictures.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people love birds. As soon as I told my neighbors that I was birdwatching, they perked right up and were more than happy to show me their birds nesting in their planter. Ah, life is good.