Rosie and Pretty Boy's fourth egg hatched this morning. I got a quick look when she left the box, but she's very protective, and I didn't get a picture before she returned to the nest box. Here she is covering her clutch. Her nest box has a sliding door at one end. It's easier to look into than Fuchsia's with a hatch top. This is Rosie's second clutch.
I mentioned Fuchsia. In a previous post I said that I'd decided to limit all the birds to two clutches and had removed the other nest boxes. Well... Fuchsia is a determined mother. She still has one baby that hasn't fledged, and I'm hand feeding, so she should not be inclined toward another clutch so soon. Yet, she decided she wants to raise another clutch. Even without a nest box she and Flame have been mating and she laid two eggs on the floor of her cage. I took the first and put it under Rosie because she's brooding, although her babies are more than 18 days older than that egg.
I removed a second egg today and noticed she is carrying a third. Her cloaca (vent) is enlarged with a round distention over it. So, I gave in. My husband kindly reattached one of the nest boxes I'd cleaned and stored for the year. This meant removing the duct tape we used to cover the opening in the cage. As soon as he held the box up there, even before he had time to securely attach it, she was in it! She's tame, smile. We had to remove her, so she flew from his shoulder to mine, back and forth, telling each of us that she was eager to go back to the nest box.
I placed the second egg she laid into the box. It's in a corner that I hope she will choose since it's the easiest for me to see when the lid is opened. Once she lays the third egg, I'll retrieve the first one from Rosie's box and put it back for Fuchsia. I don't know that these are fertile, but there's nothing to lose letting her have them.
So much for downsizing! I only have three Bourke pairs left, but they are prolific. Fortunately, elderly Cherry is willing to slow down and not demanding her box back.
Here is today's photo of the Lady Gouldian finches that I'm hand feeding (out of necessity, not by choice). Notice the wing feathers! They're eleven days old today.