This is a story in video that everyone with an interest in songbirds will definitely want to view. It is an adventure into the beginning of life for four Goldfinch youths.
It was an amazing sequence of events to watch and be able to video. My husband and I were in awe and felt so privileged to witness this fascinating story unfold just two feet outside our bedroom window. Every day I came home from work I would scoop up my Handycam and shoot whatever was going on at the nest.
One day, about two and half weeks into the story just after the Goldfinch chicks had hatched, the female was sitting on the nest keeping her “naked” dinosaur like babies warm.
Then I heard the male singing the well known flight song of the Goldfinch. He appeared hopping from branch to branch closer to the nest. He then fed the female as she sat on the nest keeping her babies warm.
Male Feeding Female While She Sits On Chicks
As he fed her they softly chirped to each other the entire time he “lunched” her. I had witnessed this as she kept the eggs warm but never had my camera close by. But finally this lucky day I was successful. It is truly touching to watch.
In the picture above the only part of the female you can see is her forked tale. It covers a view of her head and the males mouth inside hers.
The male was part of the process at the beginning, bringing nesting material to the site and feeding her throughout the days, which turned into weeks as she incubated the eggs.
She would leave the nest for brief periods of time, but he sustained her for the most part.
It was during these brief moments when she left the nest that I would go out quickly and shoot pictures and short video. (I didn’t want to stress her out by being there when she returned.
I also stopped going out to take photos as the chicks got to a certain stage as I was concerned I would startle them and cause them to leave the nest too early.)
Then One Day
The female left the nest and I hurried out to take a picture of the nestlings.
As I approached the hydrangea bush that they had chosen as their nesting site, I noticed that the male was sitting on the edge of the nest peering in and inspecting his new little brood.
He was so intent and focused he did not notice that I was only a few feet away. He also did not notice that I had crunched through the dry grass to get to the nest, after slamming the front door behind me.
As soon as I saw him I slowly backed up and went inside the house. By the time I got to the bedroom window he was gone. I only saw the male a few more times after that. Then he disappeared. I’m not sure if this is normal for males to leave or if something happened to him. I wondered if his bright colour would attract too much attention and that is why he no longer came once the chicks had all hatched.
There was a very lucky event I was able to capture which I’m sure was repeated over and over but I only caught on film once.
The female of course took care of all the young bird’s toiletries keeping the nest clean and relatively parasite free.
But one time as you will see I captured her providing direct toiletry care for one of her young ones. It really isn’t for the faint of heart, but very fascinating.
An Amazing Day
Amazingly, the day they were in full fledge I was off.
The day before I had videoed the chicks sitting on the edge of the nest, nudging each other trying to fit in the nest together. But they just didn’t fit very well anymore.
I really would not have guessed that the next day would be their last day at the nest site. It would be empty from that day forward and we certainly felt the “emptiness”.
Full fledge day is further down the path of the journey for our four Goldfinch chicks, just follow the link below to watch.
Enjoy and delight!
Continue to watch the adventure. Discover what happened on full-fledge day!