Friday, April 21, 2006

An expanding family

Exciting bird news... there are 6 eggs in the nest!! When I left for Easter, there was only one, so I assumed that would be it. (Obviously I did not pay attention in biology class and have no common sense... of course a little bird can't pop out 6 eggs that are the size of her head all at once!) Mama bird, let's call her Wilma, is now sitting on the nest for most of the day. I don't have any idea of what type of bird she is. She looks a bit like a sparrow, but has a fatter beak and a yellow stripe where her wings meet her body.

6 babies and a protective mom will definitely put a cramp in my plans to spend lots of time on my balcony, but I am willing to accomodate:-)


At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How in the world did you get a picture of the nest with the eggs sans Mama? Don't they sit on the eggs 24/7? Also, I think that Wilma needs a more german sounding name. And because this is how much I currently don't want to be doing work now, I found a lovely website that has the german words for all different types of songbirds: Enjoy! Anuradha :)

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I thought "Wilma from Wilmersdorf" was a good pick, but I am open to other ideas. Any suggestions? Soon I will have six babies to name;-) I probably know about 6 Germans, maybe I will name the babies after them!

Mama bird is normally in the nest, but she left briefly late yesterday afternoon and I just happened to notice. I didn't want to get too close to the nest though, so I used the zoom on my camera to get the shot I did.

I can't wait to check out the website. Thanks!

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Erin,
We have been doing hours of research on what kind of bird has made your window box it's home. Unfortunatly none of our birdbooks are in German so we can't tie it down exactly. It does seem to us that your bird friend is either a Grosbeak or a Finch. Both have the kinds of beak that your bird has. It is likely a seed eating bird.
The US variety of these birds usually have only four eggs. In the US the female does the nest setting. Have you ever seen the male, which is usally more colorful regardless of the type.

If it is a Finch the eggs will hatch in about 13 days.

WE feel like we are about to become Grandparents again!! Keep us posted.

Love, G&G

At 4:09 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Hi G&G,
Thanks for looking for me, I tried to check online but didn't have any luck. Its interesting that finches and grosbeaks only have 4 babies. I am concerned that with 6 babies some of them will get booted from the nest and onto my balcony. I think I should put something down that will provide a soft landing. If they go off the other side there is not much I can do-- guess they will learn how to fly in a hurry!

I have only ever seen one adult at a time-- but have wondered whether I am seeing both the mom and dad. Sometimes I think I see the yellow stripe I mentioned and sometimes I don't, so there very well might be two. In Germany, fathers get time off to take care of the kids just like mothers, so maybe the birds are sharing the sitting responsibilities too;-)

At 10:00 AM, Blogger kelly said...

how cute!! maybe you can get a feeder so she can keep the babies fat without having to fly too far.


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