Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Birds, Eyes Open and Beginning to Feather

Our Lady Gouldian finch babies are beginning to get feathers and their eyes are open. Cuter now than a few days ago. Dots around their mouths take some getting used to, however. Smile.

We keep a small space heater near them at night to be sure they don't get cold since the parents don't stay in the nest any longer. I checked them last night after the parents were soundly asleep outside the nest box. Three baby birds were stuffed full and two didn't have much in their crops, so as a precaution I mixed up the hand feeding formula and fed those two. Wouldn't want to lose another one because the parents aren't careful to feed all five. This is their first clutch, although they seem to be doing very well with their new parenthood.

Look closely and you will see tiny, open dark eyes. Yesterday
it seemed like they only had a few pin feathers at the edge
of their wings. Today, they are much longer!

They have egg food and much more available,
however their crops are full of spray millet seed.

There is such a difference between these finches and the parakeets. I check our birds before going to bed each night and the Bourkes whistle to me. The Gouldian finches don't even take their heads out from under their wings even though I'm right next to their cage and talking. It's as if they are hybernating. It's the same way in the morning when I open the blinds. The Bourkes are up and singing before I get out of bed, but the Gouldians stay asleep until the blinds are open and bright sunlight is coming in. They are both early-to-bed critters and late risers too. Perhaps the babies are tiring them out.

Of course, Bourkes are most active at dawn and dusk, but the contrast between the two species is greater than I imagined. 

Hand feeding two young Bourke parakeets.
Mother Bourkes stay with their youngsters a lot longer too, and newly hatched Bourke babies have fuzz to help keep them warm. Must admit it's easier to hand feed the finches who almost swallow the eye dropper and fill up quickly. There are many differences among different bird species.

Peace & Blessings.

1 comment:

neversink7 said...

the goulds will probably eat spray millet over anything else, so if they have spray millet all the time, that's probably what they will feed their babies. Sometimes they can be pretty bad about eating eggfood and may need time to get use to your eggfood. If you do see them attacking the eggfood when you give it to them, then I would give less millet spray so they will feed more eggfood to the babies. If they never touch the eggfood, then you may need to train them to eat the eggfood before they'll realize that's a better option for their chicks.