Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Hungry Young Goldfinches and Honey the Hedgehog

I was fortunate this morning to get two video clips of young Goldfinches being fed by the adults. It hasn't taken long for the goldies to get used to the new, larger feeder which is just as well as there are now quite a few visiting on and off all day.

Adult Goldfinches

They often arrive with two or more youngsters which spend much of their time calling and flapping their wings.

Young Goldfinch

One youngster was sat in the tray under the small feeder happily eating the thistle seeds the adults had dropped until a few adults arrived. Then the tactics changed to the usual wing flapping and begging to be fed. Eventually an adult turned up and performed its parental duty. After the young one had been fed the adult sits there staring it straight in the eyes as though to say - "There, I've shown you what to eat - now find some yourself."

A short while later an adult was at the edge of the grass where I had emptied some of the spilt seeds.

Adult Goldfinch

It seemed to be gathering quite a few. Fortunately I switched the camcorder on and this is what followed.

There was no let up for the harassed adults. Wherever they went at least one youngster was sure to follow.

Adult and Young Goldfinches

To Enjoy a Meal - Sit in the Dish.

After an exchange of ideas on Twosie the Hedgehog I decided that the bulk cheap mealworms I had bought on eBay were useless. The Hedgehogs ignored them and even the Starlings left them. Fortunately I still had a few packets left from my usual supplier so I put some of those along with Sunflower hearts, peanut nibbles and crushed unsalted peanuts in a spare mesh dish. Then it was a question of waiting for a visitor. What a difference! Honey turned up and made lots of short visits to the dish, even climbing in it to get at the free grub more easily.

One piece of action I missed recording was when Honey wanted to know what was under the dish so she stuck her nose under and nearly tipped it over as she pushed it out of the way.


  1. Great pictures and video of the Goldies John.
    That poor adult bird in the second, being chased around by the kids; no peace lol

  2. I think I'm a post behind again, or is that behind a post? ;)Anyway, the pond looks lovely, especially from that particular angle. The strider floating along on the white textured bird feather is quite fanciful, and I also love the butterflies and lavender ~ The combination of depth of field of the lavender and the distinctive colouring of the butterflies makes it so effective.

    I think it very chic that you have coordinated the seed feeder with the beautiful plumage of the birds! In the video, the little ones chasing the parent is so cute! You captured so many wonderful photos and videos of the birds and hedgehogs ~ and flutter/bugs.

  3. It's funny how the glossiness of the red facial feathers of the gold finch shows up so well in the video. Poor harrassed parents ...

  4. Great post today...nice to see that the finches are feeding from your new feeder now. I noticed that you get a bit of condensation at the top of your feeder...I have the same problem..and then I get mold that grows very quickly. My feeder sits in the afternoon sun. Any ideas on how to stop the problem John? Oh and to answer your question today about the water drops...I caught the sun in them...very first time I managed that!!

  5. Thank you Keith. It was funny to watch the ones on the ground but I would have hated to be the parent :-)

  6. Hi Glo. It was my fault for writing two posts in one day. I didn't know how much time it would take as I see the doctor today to try to sort out my gout problem.

    Quite a few people like the lavender photo. I nearly didn't use that one. They are leaning half way over the path and the scent is beautiful every time I brush past them. There have been so many butterflies around them I have to be careful not to step on those resting on the path.

    Co-ordinated colours - that was the only colour available. :-)

    Thank you for your kind comments. I could watch, photo and film my feathered and spiky visitors all day and night I find them so fascinating.

  7. Helllo Wilma. I do feel sorry for the parent birds sometimes. Good job the youngsters soon learn to find their own food. Entertaining to watch though.

    The sunlight was in just the right place to bring out the red colour.

  8. Thank you Crista. I had noticed the condensation in the new feeder. The old green one has never done that. I wonder if it is a combination of the metal lid collecting condensation when it gets cold and lack of ventilation. I may try gently drilling a small hole near the top of the plastic to see if that helps.

    After your tantalising pictures of the Papaya it is now on my 'must have' list of fruits. Scrumptious.

  9. What great pictures and video footing of the Goldies John. They are such lovely little birds but, for their size, they certainly make a great deal of noise.

    My young ones are mostly feeding themselves now, but I'm still hearing the occasional and constant calls to be fed by Mum or Dad!

    It's interesting to see the Goldies on the ground. Something I've not seen very often and it always seems remarkable to see them down on the grass

  10. Thank you kindly Tricia. Funny you should say about them being noisy as those here are so quiet. Even the youngsters call quietly. Must be the genteel branch of the family :-)

    The youngsters here can feed themselves when they have to but lets face it - it is easier to be spoon (beak) fed. I had to laugh at one yesterday struggling to find out how to get a seed out of the tiny slot in the feeder.

    I found it unusual to see a goldie on the ground. It had probably spotted the thistle seeds I had dropped there.

  11. Those Goldfinches, that's a great piece of filming there John.

  12. Lovely photos and videos again John. The youngsters really do harass the parents don't they? Not much different from human behaviour really! The young Goldies do amuse me they always look so 'undressed' somehow without the colourful 'headgear' of the adults.

    Very good luck for your appointment with the doctor.

  13. Thank you for the kind comment Roy. I always enjoy making the bits of video.

  14. Thank you Jan. The harassment is much the same really for all the breeds. It is a good job it only lasts relatively few days. Yes it does seem peculiar that they get the yellow and the black tail coats but the red comes later. Probably a survival thing.

    I got two new sets of tablets. At least I now have something I can take all the time to help prevent the gout flaring up.

  15. Hi John
    Thanks for the link to CJ's
    I haven't seen and Goldies in my garden and CJ's recommend not to put up Nyjer feeders till they show up, so now I am in a quandary
    Great video, I can't wait to be able to capture them myself
    I managed to identify that bug too

  16. Lovely photo of the young goldfinch with its wings spread out to show the color. The videos certainly show how demanding the young ones are. Impossible for the parents to ignore them!

  17. Lovely shots of the Goldfinch John, it's been nice to see them return here too. Things are certainly picking up after a very quiet Summer.

  18. Hi Terry.
    I hadn't seen any goldies in my garden when I put the feeder up but I had seen them further up the lane. It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation really - if you don't have a feeder will they be seen in the garden anyway? I just decided to take a chance and after a couple of months I struck lucky.

    Well done on identifying your visitor to the ugly bug ball :)

  19. Thank you Mick.The youngster on the bamboo cane posed just right for me. There is certainly no escape from hungry youngsters in the birdy world.

  20. Hi Paul. Thank you. This has been my first year seeing Goldfinches and it has been a real treat.

  21. Hedgehogs are good at sitting in their food bowls. When I used to put both food bowls down the far end of the feeding station I often would find a hog sitting in one bowl and eating out of the other. That's partly why I started moving one bowl nearer to the entrance.

  22. Hi G L. I wonder if it is their way of guarding the food, dog in the manger like?


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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