Tag Archives baby birds

Bird Nest Update: And Then They Were Gone

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Back at the end of May, two house finches decided to make one of our porch lights their home. They built a little nest but were so shy they only showed their butts whenever I tried to snap a photo.

A little while later, there were eggs! Five little beautiful eggs that hatched into four little pink babies (unfortunately, one didn’t make it). They grew bigger and bigger, and we saw both Momma and Daddy bird tending to them. I couldn’t wait to see the babies learn to fly!

One of my most recent photos of the baby finches.

But then one morning, to my horror, I looked up at the nest through our front window and saw that the lightbulb in the porch light had fallen down near the nest!

Oh no! The lightbulb fell down!

Originally when I saw Momma and Daddy bird building the nest, I unscrewed the bulb. But I couldn’t get it out of the light fixture, so I just left it balanced on top of the socket. At the time it seemed pretty stable to me.

I went outside to investigate. All the birds were gone! Babies, Mom and Dad, everyone. The nest was completely empty.

Oh dear…an empty nest, thanks to the fallen lightbulb.

And it stayed empty. All day. And the next day, and the day after that.

What happened? How did the lightbulb fall? Maybe Mom or Dad bumped into it. I didn’t think the babies were ready to fly yet, but maybe they were? They were definitely too big for Mom and Dad to carry them to safety. There was no evidence of baby finches anywhere around our front lawn, so I guess the whole family flew away.

It is interesting, because if the fallen lightbulb was the reason they all fled, the lightbulb had been there the whole time. It just fell close to the nest. Although the birds might have been “used to it,” was it now just too close for comfort? Or did they never really notice the lightbulb in the first place and suddenly this big white thing tumbled down? Or maybe the babies were ready to fly away anyway, and during their mass exodus, they dislodged the lightbulb. Maybe the lightbulb wasn’t the reason they’re gone after all.

I guess what really happened will remain a mystery. I just hope they are all okay.

It was such a sweet surprise to share our spring with a little bird family. I learned so much. And my kids got to see the birds start a family and witnessed our excitement and respect for nature. For all of that I am grateful.

A male and female house finch. Maybe we’ll host another family next year? Photo source: iNaturalist.


Bird Nest Update: Father’s Day for a Daddy Bird

By Posted on 2 min read 1477 views

Time for an update on the bird family that is living in the light fixture on our front porch!

Last week (around June 14) I took a peek into the nest and the chicks were certainly bigger and were starting to sprout feathers:

Baby birds with feathers starting to grow!

I also saw something I find super interesting: The father bird came back to the nest! Admittedly I don’t know much about birds (but I’m learning!) and I assumed just the mother bird looked after the chicks. But the father came back and saw me and started chirping at me. Was he telling me off in his own way?

The father bird perched on our string of Christmas lights near the nest. (I guess it’s a good thing we were too lazy to take down the lights so that Mom & Dad bird have a place to stand guard…)

Watching both the Momma and Daddy bird go to and from the nest, I’ve been able to get a better look at them, and I’m pretty certain they are house finches. Super Interesting Observation #2: I’ve seen the Daddy bird feed the chicks! He’s a real hands-on dad.

Now, another week later, I looked through our front window at the nest and I saw baby bird faces! They’ve grown so big. So far I’ve been able to count four chicks. There were originally five eggs so I guess one of them unfortunately didn’t make it.

Three little opened beaks waiting for their next meal.
A close-up of one of the sweet chicky-faces.
A view of the nest from above. The chicks certainly look more like birds now.

It is amazing how much the chicks have grown in just two weeks. Mom and Dad keep going back and forth, feeding the little mouths.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy Bird! What a sweet little family you have. Thank you for letting me watch and learn.

Mom and Dad house finch keeping watch on their chicks. Dad is on the left, Mom is on the right.


Bird Nest Update: The Babies Have Arrived!

By Posted on 2 min read 850 views

About two weeks ago I told you about birds that built a nest in our front porch light. And I couldn’t get a good photo of the momma in the nest because she kept showing off her butt. Well, here is an update! And it is exciting.

Several times a day I look out our front window at the light to see how things are going in the nest. Momma still shows me her butt now and then, but now I often see her hunkered down and her sweet little eye seems to be watching me. I try not to scare her, so I just peek from the side of our window. This week I realized it’s been a while since I took the photo of her two eggs, so I waited until Momma was not in the nest and I took another picture. Look at this:

Look! Now there’s FIVE eggs!

There’s no longer two eggs, but FIVE eggs! Wow! Momma has been busy. This is so exciting!

But wait, it gets even better.

This morning I thought I’d check in on them. And look! Babies!

Brand new baby birds. Hooray!

They are so new and pink and beautiful. And as you can see, there is one egg left, or maybe it’s just an empty eggshell. It’s hard to count the babies because they are in such a tight little bundle. I hope, if it is a full egg, that the baby is just a late bloomer. But it got me thinking: What happened to all the other eggshells? From what I could find online from reputable sources, adult birds can eat the eggshells (a good source of calcium), or they fly from the nest, carrying the eggshell, and drop it far away. It’s not good to keep eggshells in the nest because: (1) they take up space in an already squishy home; (2) they are sharp and can cut the delicate baby birds; and (3) the exposed inside of the egg is not camouflaged like the outside, and can act like a beacon to predators. Which made me think, Aha! No wonder I sometimes find empty half-eggshells lying around outside, seemingly nowhere near a nest. Momma bird dropped it far away as part of her parenting duties.

Welcome to the world, little ones! You are such sweet little pink packets of joy, and I look forward to watching you grow.


Birkhead, T. (June 20, 2016). The art of hatching an egg, explained. Retrieved June 6, 2020 from https://www.audubon.org/news/the-art-hatching-egg-explained