Making a Nest is Easy?
Making something that resembles a nest shape is simple but making a nest that is suitable enough for you to sleep in and big enough for your eggs is not. The finches have had trouble constructing their nest as have I, although aesthetically speaking both appeared nest like, they were not adequate enough for everyday living. I test my nests out by taking a nap inside, just as the finches do, however I often find especially if I move my body whilst lying down that one side of the nest caves in. I am attempting to make a nest similar in shape to a wild finch nest which has a whole to climb in and out but has a roof as well as usual circular shaped walls. I am having trouble when the nest gets to the stage that it needs to go up and over despite mixing the hay with my ‘fat ball’ mixture in the hope that this glue would hold it in shape. To a certain extent it helps and the treacle dipped string has been incredibly useful for the construction. I have now hung some string above, across and hanging down and will see if this frame will help with the nests roof.
Observing the Finches
Until recently the female finch hasn’t shown much interest in the male finches’ seductions however, today I saw him get his way. I am wondering how long it takes between their mating and the female laying her eggs. The text books discuss the times once the eggs have been laid but not this in between period. Therefore I am currently researching this in the hope of getting an answer.
The finches seem to have finally conquered the left hand nest as upon entering the space today I was pleasantly surprised to see it filled with hay and shaped well. They have been resting in the nest today also and fit well.
Finally today I decided to introduce to the cage some millet which seems to have gone down well as they began feeding off of it straight away.
Males stay on territory, sing frequently, build several display nests and court conspecific females that enter the territory, while females visit several territories and are correspondingly courted by several males... If a female appears in the vicinity of one of his display nests he flies towards her, singing both in flight and when perched, and often carrying nest material in his bill at the same time...
(Grant 223: 1999)
Perhaps they are not having difficulty building a nest at all; perhaps the male finch is building them and dismantling them on purpose to woo the female finch. He has shown many of the characteristics described in the above text in particular singing whilst carrying nesting material.