June 12, 2020 11h26
Breeding in a series
SCIENCE DAILY / “I’ve noticed a couple of finches at the beginning of spring in our little cedar, right in front of my window, and I could observe all the stages from hatching until the exit of the nest on 5 may. I thought they had left the nest for good before to see two male male circles around the nest and bicker, while the female seems to have remained in the nest. Is it possible that they make a second nesting? And why are there two males ?”, request Marie-Chrystel Married, of Sherbrooke.
There are two kinds of finches that are seen frequently in Quebec : the purple finch and the finch familiar. According to Marie-Hélène Hachey, a biologist for the organization Quebec Bird and co-author of the Atlas of the breeding birds of Quebec (a book colossal released last year), we are dealing here with a nest of finches familiar. The video below, filmed by Ms. Marry, shows that the female and cubs exit the nest, but it is sufficient for identification. The head of the finch familiar female is duller than that of the purple finch female — and this last has a white bar on each side of the head, that does not have the purple finch female.
In addition, the purple finch has only one brood per year and usually constructs its nest in the larger trees as the cedar of Ms. Marry, and further the trunk. The finches familiar to him, makes its nest in shrubs (among others), and we are seeing more frequently in the city.
“It is [a bird] really interesting because the female built the nest “to repeat”, and that the male feeds only the young,” said Ms. Hachey. It is the female who builds the nest alone, and then who attends to incubate the eggs, ” she continues. She broods as chicks until they are able to leave the nest. When the young are out of the nest (stage fledglings) the female part to build another nest and the male takes care of feeding the young for some time.”
It happens quite frequently that the female remains in the nest and a second clutch with the same male, but it often ends by “go elsewhere”, so to speak. The number of nests and broods varies from one region to another, but, it has been observed in Michigan females making up to 6 nests and all broods in a single season, according to information provided to me by Ms. Hachey. There, no couple never stayed together for more than three broods.
“In short, the male finch that has been observed could take care of the young left behind by the female (if it is not visible anywhere). As to the second male, he can be there only by chance. But who knows, he could also feed the young,” said Ms. Hachey.
This indicates that there exists on Facebook a very good quebec group of”self-help bird”, if I may say so, where people can put their videos and their questions : “birds at home” [https://www.facebook.com/groups/Des.oiseaux.a.la.maison/]. This will help for future comments or questions.
Video showing the output of a nest of young finches, familiar (in the tree) and their mother (who happens to by flying at the beginning of the sequence).
Courtesy, Marie-Chrystel Married
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“Since about two months, there are more blue jays, chickadees, sparrows, of finches or goldfinches that come to our fins. It just sees two crows that arrived at about the same time as the others disappeared. Is this normal ? My feeders are still full, it has always attracted a lot of birds with and, when I can take a walk around, I see that there are” asks Chantal Salerno, Rawdon.
It is always difficult to say with certainty what happened in a particular case, even for experts like Ms. Hachey. It is quite possible, she said, that it is the crows which scares off the other birds, especially if they are installed somewhere on the ground of Ms. Salerno, since these are the “predators of nests” that regularly take eggs and chicks of other species.
But it is also possible that this is something else. Maybe a cat if it is installed in the vicinity. Maybe is this a change in the seeds and in this respect, moreover, it is important to know that the crows can feed some grains, such as corn.
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