Observations from the Lazy Wye Naught -- finches


David Yeamans
 

On my 60 square feet of the Republic of California the house finch juveniles are sprouting the expected "horns" on their heads. It must be something like a "first pre-basic molt." Sometimes I've been asked if it's some new species but, no, it's not. By now the fledgelings are larger than their parents by body size (although the bones of fledgeling passerines are the same size as adult bones) because they are laying up fat to get them through the time when they are learning to survive on their own.

Meanwhile, the adult male is eating as much black oil sunflower seed as he can so he can regurgitate for the juvies. He's also showing them by example where the mostly natural food is. It's a big job and he's quite thin, not having time to eat for himself. I think the adult females must be eating separately from the pandemonium and I suppose it's their turn to recover from ovulation and such. The goldfinches are much the same except they come only for the water.
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Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.