Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Single Fledgling and a Fear of Heights

As you may know some of my finches decided to start laying eggs months ago much to my dismay. As it turned out they proved to be very prolific layers and fairly poor parents. Now, in their defense everything I read said young finches take a clutch or two to get it right. OK, mine were a little slower on the uptake.

I have one pair of Gouldians and a pair of Cut Throats that are good egg layers. They are just not quite sure what to do after that. Finches lay one egg a day until they have their full clutch which can be anywhere from 3 to 6 eggs (on average) depending on the type of finch. My dear fowl tended to lay their eggs and then after several days toss the eggs from the nest. I would find the broken eggs on the bottom of the cage.

Not to be disheartened, in a week the hen would be laying again. Then eureka - after a total of 5 clutches and 18 eggs, we finally had one that hatched and survived. Not having much faith in the parenting skills of the parents (my pair of Cut Throats) we have been watching with bated breath daily the little guy's progress.

Twice my DH has pronounced the chick dead. Both times I was able to prove otherwise. (Actually baby birds instinctively are still and quiet when they hear an unfamiliar sound.) Once my DH asked that I empty the nest because he had no doubt the chick was dead and had been for a day or two. Oh, yea of little faith.

Finally the chick was big enough for us to see that he had the scarlet colored slash under his chin (ie Cut Throat) that indicated he was a male. And he continued to grow. One thing we did not have to fear was that he was not getting fed. 

(Adicus Finch in his nest)

Three days ago he started sticking his head out of the nest. This morning it looked as if he may be ready to try his wings. But, that thought was just a passing fancy as he quickly retreated back inside the nest. Since the nest is located high on the side of the cage, maybe a good 30 inches or so off the bottom of the cage, I now fear the little one will fall from the nest and break his neck. 

Stay tuned, no telling how this is going to end.

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