Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Family of Finches

Although ours is a very urban life (looming skyscrapers, rumbling el trains, stinky alleys), we are lucky to have a healthy dose of the natural mixed in with our bus exhaust fumes.

The best example of this is the finch family living in our yard. Their nest went up about four weeks ago right outside the back door -- the back door that is always open -- with noisy children constantly in and out. Not exactly the most serene setting for bringing up baby finches. But our view has been spectacular. And the finches don't seem to mind the commotion.

After several days of constructing the nest, the mama and papa flitted about nervously. We waited to hear tell-tale chirp chirps. One morning, we found a dead baby still half in his egg on the ground. We talked about it and felt sad (especially Ellie who declared that she loved birds and never wanted to see anything bad happen to them). Dad cleaned it up.

A few days later, we saw two little yellow beaks poking up from the nest begging mama and papa for a bite to eat. Now, the two fledglings are about twelve days old. Mama and papa fly about tending to the needs of their two babes as we play or eat or garden. We watch them. They seem to be watching us.

The fledglings are looking eager. We anticipate a flying lesson this week.

(Updated: Twenty minutes after I posted this, we opened the back door to check out our feathered friends. We discovered that one of the fledglings was precariously perched on the edge of the nest. With wildly flapping wings, he dove out and despite my fears that he was going to crash head-first into our grill, slowly gained altitude and flew off. So kind of him to wait until we could all witness his first flight. )


Anonymous said...

What a great story and a wonderful experience for the kids.

Tan Family said...

Wow! You got to see the bird's first flight. That's amazing. It's so great that your kids got to see the babies and understand the birth/life/death cycle a little bit better. Not always easy to see or talk about, but best understood by seeing it. Good luck to the baby birds!

selfmademom said...

that is cool! We have a red cardinal who visits periodically throughout the summer. I haven't seen babies yet, but it reminds me that even among the electrical wires, nature does exist in Chicago. Oh, and the bunnies. The bunnies. My neighbor actually captures the poor stray bunnies and takes them to his lake house in WI. I guess that's too much nature for Roscoe Village :)

Bethany said...

Impressive picture of those little baby birds ready to eat!!