Lucky, The Baby House Finch

by Sandy
(Canton, Georgia)

A few weeks ago I noticed a couple of little birds building a nest in a flower arrangement I had on my front door.

I looked at pictures of native birds and determined they were house finches. When the nest was finished it wasn't long before mother bird had laid 4 small eggs.

Just over a week after that 4 fuzzy little baby birds hatched. Then a disaster happened.

I was watching television one night and I heard a thud at the front door. I looked out the window and saw a cat, I immediately went outside and found the nest on the ground.

Fortunately I found only one of the babies; at first I thought it was dead as it was so cold but I brought it inside and put it on a heating pad.

It perked up quickly so I put it in the nest and got on the computer to find out how to take care of it.

I found out there was a formula for baby birds so I went to the pet store the next day and picked some up.

When I first found the baby it was only about 5 days old, its eyes were not open yet and it was almost bald.

Anyway I have been feeding it the formula and she ( I think it is a girl, she is so spunky) has blossomed. She's probably about 3 weeks to a month old now and is beautiful.

She is out of the nest and has all her feathers. She cannot fly yet and she should be weaned about now but I can't get her interested in seeds.

I am going to call the National Wildlife people tomorrow and see if they can advise me. Much as I would love to keep her I intend to set her free as long as I know she can take care of herself in the wild.

It has been a wonderful experience and I am so glad I saved one baby bird's life.

Comments for Lucky, The Baby House Finch

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Jul 04, 2021
by: Anonymous

I had a similar incident. We tried numerous times to release the little one free and it just spent so long trying to come back in I was scared.

We even took it to a park near by and all that happened is it flew around and followed me and would not go anywhere.

After an hour of trying I let it in the car came home and she flew right into the house window trying to get in.

Now she has a hurt foot and the local rescues can't take her.

What should I do, she's been here 5 months now and I'm afraid she won't ever get to be free

Jul 12, 2020
heat and birds
by: Gene

If they are out of the direct sun they should be fine. The average temp of a bird is bout 105 degrees. The adults will feed less towards fledgling time in order to get the young hungry enough to leave the nest.

This is a good time to stay away so that adult and young can feel safe to leave the nest.

Jul 12, 2020
heat stroke
by: Anonymous

We have 4 baby finches on a beam above the deck. The mom comes only occasionally. Currently it is 100 degrees and, although I turned on the ceiling fan, they look distressed and panting. How can I cool them off?

Jul 11, 2019
You can release when ready! Call Rogers!
by: Anonymous

I do know that bird's need our help from time to time. Do NOT worry about imprinting, they have a natural God given instinct.

Care for the little guy and if you CAN'T find a rehaber call Rogers wild life rescue in Hutchins Texas!

They will guide you and help you to care and release him/her when ready!

I have fostered MANY bird's and even the mocking bird's ( who do imprint) can be released back into the wild with their friend's and family!

Key is to ONLY touch the bird when caring for it.

TRY not to talk to it or pet it as if it was a's NOT it's a wild bird with natural instincts that will kick in:-) its AMAZING to watch and help so don't be discouraged.

I would make the call and figure out what to feed it ( depends on age) and when to release. Good job and good luck!

Jun 01, 2019
I found two today
by: Ahrianna Winther

I found two baby house finches myself today, but their nest was ravaged by rats.

There had been three of the babies, but I found one dead, it kind of broke my heart.

The first of the two that I found alive was so weak, I was so scared for it, but I grabbed a box, and found an abandoned doves nest, and got the baby in.

She perked up a little but perked up even more when I found the second one alive, and I got them together.

I kept them outside in indirect sunlight, and they stayed pretty warm, then I found someone who had the expertise to help them, and I got them to the Avian Underdog Rescue Association, and will be checking on them in a day or so.

I just wanted to share my experience, because it was wonderful to find someone else that had a similar experience.

May 11, 2019
by: Anonymous

So how goes the story end??

Jun 12, 2018
baby birds
by: Gene

It's common for the adults to slow feeding when the young are close to fledging. This causes them to leave the nest and go to the adults to be fed.

Considering the nest site, they may be House Sparrows.

Jun 11, 2018
Question on baby birds wild finches I think
by: Mary

I believe they are finches they were born about 10 days ago mom and dad were feeding them.

They are in the eves of my trailer by my front steps mom would get nervous every time I came home but the last two nights she hasn't been in the nest did she abandon the nest?

Can I feed the babies and what do I feed them.

Jun 01, 2018
Imprinted bird
by: Linda Cull

Do not release her! It is too late. You were what she saw when she opened her eyes. She is imprinted and will never act normal to her own kind. You are her own kind now. She will die quickly if released.

I am not licensed but have a lot of experience. Google "my cedar waxing Larry" I, too, raised a baby bird from before her eyes were opened.

10 years later and Larry is very happy living with me! She would never have lived to be 10 in the wild even if her mom had raised her.

May 31, 2018
To anon 5-30-28
by: Shari

Not knowing just how close the nest is to traffic around it, the parents could be intolerable of the people coming and going or just inexperienced.

There may also be other deterrents that make them nervous.

My advice would be to watch for the parents to come to the little one in the nest now. Early morning.

If you are positive it has been abandoned, please take it to a wild bird rehabber.

As for the future, please take down any nests or remnants and do the same if any new nests even start to be built. They will find another place.

May 30, 2018
Bad Finch parents
by: Anonymous

Last year we had a couple of House Finches build a nest on our terrace. Sure enough one lone egg was laid.

We kept away from the area as much as possible so not to disturb them but after a few days the male came around less often and the female would leave for longer and longer periods until one day she just did not return.

We left it for a couple of days just to be sure and then my husband opened the egg and found a perfectly formed baby. Why would they do this?

So this year, I imagine it must be the same couple built a nest in my Geranium plant. My husband promptly removed it but while we were out another was in its place with an egg inside.

She did not sit on that egg often but each day there was a new egg for a total of five of which only one hatched.

I am now going through the heart wrenching experience of watching her abandon this little guy who is now nine days old.

These two are the worst parents ever. I am assuming they just don't know what to do.

May 17, 2018
House Finches
by: Gene

I think you may be missing what is happening. Both, the female and male feed the nestlings. It is unlikely they have been abandon by both adults.

The young would not be alive 3 days without food.

Keep your distance and I think you'll see the adults return. Adult birds stay away from the nest site when predators are around their young. (this is you)

Enjoy the process from a distance.

May 17, 2018
Mother house finch bird missing snd babies are in nest
by: Liz

Had a nest in a wreath on my front door of House finches Mother was there everyday and laid 5 eggs. Babies were born on Monday and the Mother has not been back to nest.....why would this happen and what should I do.

May 01, 2017
for Cristina
by: Shari

Call your local Game and Fish or Fish and Wildlife for advice.

The best thing to do is get the bird to a wild bird rehabber and it's possible that one of the organizations above can point you to someone that you wouldn't be able to find otherwise.

These birds are protected and the best thing is to get professional help. Best of luck and good for you to try to help.

Apr 24, 2017
Daughter is bringing home a baby
by: Cristina

My daughter somehow managed to accidentally injure a house finch at school. A teacher at school gave her instructions on how to help the little guy.

But I would like to do some reading myself. In our area there are not a lot of options to help. What are some good sites to read on food care etc.

Aug 05, 2016
Wild birds should be wild
by: Anonymous

I have rehabbed a Brown Thrasher, a Robin, and six Carolina Wrens, and all were released successfully, even after "imprinting" on me.

Once they matured, and were allowed to fly outside during the day, and come in at night for safety, they gradually got less interested in me.

The Wrens were the most interesting. It took 6-7 weeks for them to be completely free.

The last two weeks, they would mob me when I went outside, and wait for me to throw crickets on the ground for them.

They eventually stopped mobbing me, although I still see them in the yard occasionally.

It is tough to release someone you have cared for, but just like parenting children, they must eventually be free.

The only exception I would make is if an animal had a disability of some kind that prevented them from surviving in the wild.

I am currently rehabbing three House Finches, and I am hoping to see an answer about how to get them eating seeds. These are my first seed eaters.

Jun 19, 2015
Adopted Baby Chipping Sparrow
by: Joyce

My dog found a baby bird in the grass on her walk 3 years ago. I waited for 1 hour in the evening for the mother to try to reclaim her.

As dusk was approaching, I took her home, fed her every 2 hours, 12 hours a day for 6 weeks.

Now it is 3 years later and she lives in a cage on my counter top -- I should have released her, but she did not accept seed and and it was too late to release her-- I was imprinted as her mother!

It has been fun but now that she is older and we changed residences, she just allows me to clean her cage and provide her with new seed. Good Luck!

Jun 19, 2015
To Faith
by: Gene

Faith- don't be in a hurry to get involved. It's not uncommon for the adults to withhold food and not visit the nest in order to get the young to leave.

Jun 18, 2015
*no title*
by: Anonymous

Well, I was not sure what to title this, but first off, you did a good job taking care of him/her!

There is a baby abandoned bird in the nest outside. She/he is the only baby and may be a house finch so I think I may try to do what you did.

For Celeste- I may be a little late, but your bird probably can not survive the wild if he/she has been with you for 2 1/2 years. I think the idea of getting a new bird may be good.


Dec 27, 2013
House finch 2.5 years old
by: Beatrice

Can someone please advise me? I had a house finch that I found at a week old. She is now 2.5 years old.

Before you judge me please note that Getting wildlife protection on the phone for a house finch in LA country is not easy.

Then I had to move so I brought my girl with me.

She became really close to me. She's a happy bird! Sings, bathes, eats like an queen and flies around. She even showers with me from time to time haha.

I put her cage outside sometimes. She seems nervous about it, like she wants to fly- but also squeals for me if I leave her too long.

Lately a lot of male and females alike flock to her instantly. I feel lately like she deserves to be free and she still has very wild instincts.

I don't know how she would eat. Would the other birds teach her or kill her?

If I left food for her, will she be able to stick around and eat or will she get lost and freeze one night!? We've had some chilly ones this year.

She's happy, healthy, but not complete. Is it too late to let her go free? Should I just get another bird so she has company? If so, what kind?
Thank you,


Jun 30, 2013
House finch eyes not opening
by: Steve

We have a three week old house finch which we found a week ago.

We've been feeding him or her baby bird formula and it's doing ok. The eyes don't seem to be opening, any ideas?

Jun 05, 2013
male house finch
by: donna

First off I live in Yuma and summer here now it is pretty "HOT" 103.

I had the fan going to cool down the shop and here sat the finch, my husband picked it up for me and brought into the cool of the house.

I have him in a cage I put towel down on the bottom so he does not hurt his feet, I am not sure what has happened to him, it looks as though he is blind....he is eating and drinking ok and today he is still just resting doing fine.

I am sure he will not make it...just a matter of time but I will keep him safe, fed and out of harms way in the cool of our house till then.

However long that is. I love birds so beautiful.

Aug 08, 2012
Viceo of Mrs. Birka Birka Bathing :D
by: Anonymous - Here's a video of wormslayer/littleskunky aka Mrs Birka taking a bath.

Aug 08, 2012
Mrs. Birka
by: SKuNKy

I have raised a Robin from about 4-5 days old(tops) and she is now 2 and 1/2 months old.

I raised her to start with on dry dog food that I soaked in water until mushy then squeezed out the excess, and also hard-boiled egg-yolks.

I know it is illegal to raise wild birds (though this is stupid since all birds are wild and the ones that are legal just come from other countries.

But none of the 4 wildlife rehabbers I called would take her :( .

I have raised quite a few animals in my life from rabbits and squirrels to birds and she is spoiled rotten.

I let her fly free in my apt. because I don't have the heart to cage her. She is still young but definitely ready to go now.

I am going to slowly try and adapt her to the outdoors.

I guess since I have certain whistles that she comes too I will be able to keep tabs on her and bring her back inside at night and during storms for at least the first couple weeks.

I will also decrease her food slowly so she'll be forced to hunt(she's a meat eater). After she grew up some I started feeding her basically anything I eat, just without all the seasoning, she loves it all :).

I have kept close tabs on her weight and what not and even though she eats like a pig she is perfect weight :).

It is going to break my heart to see her go, but I want her to at least be given the chance, she deserves the skies and a mate.

If she doesn't end up adapting then she can always come back and live with me :D .

I have many names for her, my favorites being WormSlayer and Mrs. Birka Birka(based on the sound she makes in the early morning and at sunset.)

I found my bird when she was way too young to survive and her nest and siblings had been torn to shreds by something so it was either take her in or leave her to die.

Jul 08, 2012
by: laurenms

My husband and I found a baby house finch at work after a nest was pushed out of a dryer vent.

The baby is home with us, and we have had it for 3 days. We have been feeding it baby bird formula, and her feathers have developed quite nicely.

The only cause for concern is when she spreads her wings, skin is still showing and there seems to be a small hole that looks like ligaments behind her neck that I cannot find anything about.

She has been eating and been a joy to us so far and we want to help her as much as we can.

I am scared because when we tried to feed her tonight she was very lethargic and didn't eat quite as much as she normally has.

Anyone found this issue, or am I just freaking out for no reason? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Jun 10, 2012
Four finches
by: Theresa Moss Currier

I has reading the other posts and wondered if anyone found a good way to wean the babies from formula?

We have a pontoon boat, my husband brought it home from storage, a day later we discovered a nest with four house finches and an unhatched egg.

Sadly, mom got left behind. So, as I have done in the past with doves, we began feeding them with baby bird formula and an eye dropper.

They have grown tremendously in 3 weeks and can fly now. We moved them to a large cage outside.

Now I need to wean them so we can release them back into the wild. Tonight I dipped the end of the eye dropper into some seeds to try and give them the idea.

Weaning doves was fairly simple because I just kept tapping on the tray of seeds until they learned to peck. Not so with the finches!

Anyone with any tips would be appreciated.


May 19, 2012
home finch

Thank you for your article. I found a house finch and doing the same as you did, syringe and baby bird food at Petsmart. How is your bird doing now and do you still have it.



May 21, 2011
Baby House Finch
by: Joyce

8 days ago my dog found a baby house finch while out for her daily walk. I observed for any parents trying to find the bird and there were none.

I brought the bird home, made a nest in a deep, square box and the first night fed it softened cat food.

The next day I bought NutriStart and bird vitamins. She has grown, has most of her feathers, except under her arms and neck.

I have added softened (liquid) cat food to her diet and feed her with a very small syringe. She is now jumping around and is trying to fly.

I have put her in a bird cage, but know nothing abut weaning her and what food she will eat as an adult. Could you help me?

She is already imprinted I am afraid and she will have to remain in our home if at all possible. Thank you for any help you can give me.

May 11, 2011
NOT true.
by: Stranger

That's not true. It is fine if you touch her, and if you teach her how to do the things that a bird must do to survive (eat, drink, fly), she will be easy to release back into the wild.

There are several birds in my neighborhood that have been raised by me, and now that they have been in the wild, they are just as flighty and frightened as any other bird.

Believe me. Lucky will be able to return to the wild. No wild bird should be kept forever.

Jul 05, 2010
by: Peter

Hi there!... Terrific page! I'm writing from Eastern, Atlantic Canada, where I've found a baby House Finch.

He's got almost all his feathers, save for his little poof of a nubby tail. He's peeping and hopping about, like mad, trying to get out of the tub I've put him in.

I've raised European Starlings, baby Grackles and even an injured Barn owl.

But this is the first time I've ever even attempted to save a little peebler like my new Finchy mate.

He/She doesn't want to seem to eat...... Yet.

There was an overture at "begging" a little earlier last night, but for the most part the little fella' seems more intent on making good his escape.

Problem is, though... He REALLY can't fly. He's still his pin feathers and no "adult" tail feathers to speak of, so all It's attempts at liberation have involved pecking at the sides of the plastic wash-tub, and a whole lot of fluttering straight up... then down.

He's(?) really quite bold and doesn't seem VERY afraid of me at all.

I'd love for him/her/it (whatever) to survive, but I honestly don't have a clue as to what I'm doing.

We've no Aviary vets here, and the Humane Society (I've found) really isn't all that "humane" in dealing with tiny lives that are difficult to care for.

So, I'm stuck... Albeit, somewhat gladly... But I need help.

Is there anything you could tell me about the care of partially fledged baby House Finches? Any information you can give me would be GREATLY appreciated!


Aug 15, 2009
our newest family member Louie
by: naomi

We just found a baby finch on the ground while mowing the lawn.

We have decided to keep him and try to get him to eat but had no idea what to give him.

He has feathers but still has a few bald spots and that fluffy stuff on his head.

I got him to take water out of a medicine dropper and eat a couple of small knats...but do not know what else to give him.

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