Here is a bit of serendipity. These birds. Tiny birds built a nest in an open cable junction box just under the eave of the roof at the corner of my house. That was Thursday. I only noticed because they got so agitated when I passed by, chirping loudly and flittering about. I removed the nest, marveling at how well the birds had constructed it, interweaving grass fibers twigs and string. The birds were not too happy with me. Saturday afternoon, same tiny birds, apparently were back again, chirping loudly as I passed by that corner of the house. Sure enough, they had built another nest in the same location. I removed it. This afternoon I saw them hanging around again in the same vicinity. I checked the cable box again but saw no nest there this time, despite my now familiar bird neighbors. I closed the box this time so that these critters won’t build their nest there again.
So, I was sitting on the patio watching these little birds when they did this.
One bird was apparently feeding the other. This is early spring, so this could not have been a mother bird feeding a chick. This grey bird and the red headed one feeding it, I had already deduced were mates. Wherever one went the other went. They were never far apart from each other. I know enough about nature to have also deduced that the more colorful mate was the male. I wondered what type of bird this was and looked it up on the Internet. The serendipity is that not only did I find exactly the image of the bird I was looking for, but I found a picture of exactly the behavior I had observed. The male bird either kissing or feeding the female.
The little birds I have so aggravated this week are house finches.
House Finches are native to the western part of the United States. In the 1940’s a shipment of house finches was illegally introduced into Long Island, New York. Eventually the population became established and spread throughout the eastern portion of the United States and now are seen in almost every state.
House Finches are small songbirds about the same size as House Sparrows. Males are buff colored birds with light brown stripes all over that are touched with rosy-pink on the head, throat and rump. Females are buff colored birds with light brown stripes all over and normally have no red.
House finches are socially monogamous. Where you see the male you usually see the female nearby. They are not territorial. In fact, they often nest in close association, and commonly occur in small groups or flocks. In groups, males and females usually establish dominance hierarchies, in which females are typically dominant over males. Throughout most of their range, house finches do not migrate. They are year-round residents in Michigan.
As the House in their name implies, they like to nest near humans.
The female is certainly dominant; the male apparently feeds her. I hope they find a place for their nest. Just not that particular location.