Lesser Goldfinch Feeding Chicks In The Nest For Bird Photography Weekly

by Larry Jordan on June 14, 2009

Lesser Goldfinch Female Feeding Chicks In The Nest photos by Larry Jordan

I found this Lesser Goldfinch female building her nest about three weeks ago while checking one of my bluebird nest boxes.  She was busily building this beautiful and sturdy nest of  grass, twigs and plant fiber.  This nest held up (as did she) through two raging thunderstorms and downpours over the last two weeks.  An amazing feat of engineering.

These chicks are about three days old and their Mom will regurgitate a seed puree, that she has partially digested for them, directly into their stomachs.  This gives the young birds the bacteria they need in their digestive systems to process the plant foods they will be eating.

After the first few days she no longer needs to brood them and the male and female will both feed the chicks.  They may also begin feeding them soft bodied insects like aphids.

As you can see, the parents remove the fecal sacs and place them around the nest to keep the actual nest cavity clean.  The chicks will spend about two weeks in the nest before they take their first flight.  I will follow up with some more photos next week when they should be pretty well feathered.  Maybe I will be able to catch the male Lesser Goldfinch feeding the chicks!

Make sure to check out the other Bird Photography Weekly posts!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

yen June 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm

The Lesser Goldfinch has 3 chicks, do notify me once they are able to sit up flapping (practising) the wing

yens last blog post..Black Naped Monarch (Trilogy)


yen June 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm

The Black Naped Monarch feeds the young with live insects. There were two round of feeding every half hour.

yens last blog post..Black Naped Monarch (Trilogy)


Mick June 15, 2009 at 12:20 am

The bird certainly did a good job of the nest to stand up to all that wild weather. Wonder how the parent bird remembers which beak she has last put food into?

Micks last blog post..Straw-necked Ibis


Arija June 15, 2009 at 3:03 am

great shots, not only feeding but housekeeping as well, the chores never end. They certainly are good nest builders and protective parents to keep the chicks warm and dry during the storms.
Look forward to seeing more.

Arijas last blog post..BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKLY ~ 14 Rainbow Lorikeet, Wet and Dry


Thomas June 15, 2009 at 4:59 am

Fabulous and amazing documentation done here Larry. Congratulations.

Thomass last blog post..Birding in India – Painted Stork


bob k June 15, 2009 at 8:26 am

Great job of documenting the progress of the goldfinch chicks, Larry. Looking forward to more.

bob ks last blog post..Well I Can


gwendolen June 15, 2009 at 10:40 am

Great pix Larry. Incredible to see how far those little beaks open.

gwendolens last blog post..Starling | BPW #42


Vickie June 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Beautiful images! What a wonderful find and interesting info about their feeding and nesting. Its always special to have an opportunity to observe a species’ life behavior.

Vickies last blog post..Red-shouldered Hawk Juvenile


Larry June 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm

@Yen I think she has four chicks. I believe there are two sets of beaks in the top photo to the far right

@Mick bird’s nests never cease to amaze me. I think the parents just keep feeding whichever bird keeps begging for food

@Arija it does seem like birds never get to rest during the breeding season but I have watched them take, what seem to be very long breaks, while waiting for them to return to the nest.

@Thomas thank you very much. I should have some photos of the feathered chicks coming up

@Bob thanks. I am looking forward to watching the older chicks too

@Gwen they do have huge gapes don’t they. It seems like their entire heads are nothing but mouth

@Vickie you know better than most how wonderful it is to watch as nature unfolds as you watch your Red-shouldered Hawks (one of my most favorite raptors) 🙂


MaineBirder June 17, 2009 at 6:29 am

Larry, those images are simple beautiful and cute! It’s nice to find a nest and photograph the activities.
.-= MaineBirder´s last blog ..BwBTC: Birding With Friends =-.


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