how often do finch birds lay eggs

A female finch can retain sperm in her reproductive system for up to 16 days following mating. Usually starting five to seven days after breeding, female finches lay an egg each day. Although the total number varies from three to eight eggs, the average clutch has four to six eggs. If a finch doesn’t immediately sit on an egg, don’t panic. Without incubation, an egg can remain fertile for approximately a week. Many finches wait until almost all of the eggs are laid before beginning to sit on them.

The majority of finch species reach sexual maturity at around three months of age, but you should hold off on allowing your birds to breed until they are fully developed. Full maturity happens between the ages of 9 months and 2 1/2 years, depending on the species.

When a couple begins to sit, they have to do so almost constantly until the chicks hatch. If the parents need food or a little exercise, it’s okay to leave the eggs alone for brief periods of time, but leaving the eggs alone for longer than half an hour is cause for concern. If you are breeding more than one pair, you may consider “fostering” the eggs by placing the abandoned ones in a different nest. Depending on the species, the incubation period can take anywhere from 12 to 16 days. Wait a few days after the first hatchlings appear before assuming that the other eggs in the nest don’t contain viable chicks because not all of the eggs will hatch at the same time.

By nature, finches are flighty, nervous creatures. Finches don’t particularly enjoy human interaction during the breeding and egg-laying seasons, but they are generally not fond of human company. Watch your birds closely when they lay eggs, but try not to annoy them physically. Since finches sit on their eggs both male and female, notice when you see a bird in the nest the majority of the time. A finch sitting on the eggs may actually check the nest to see how many there are, which can lead to nest abandonment.

If you put male and female finches of the same species in the same cage, they will eventually breed because that is how nature works. Nest boxes and materials like hay can be given to your pets so they can lay and hatch their eggs in them. A parent should sit on the eggs at all times during the incubation phase, but this doesn’t happen when the first egg appears.

How do they reproduce?

House finches are monogamous (one male mates with one female). By the time the breeding season arrives, males and females have formed breeding pairs after starting their search for mates in the winter. In order to entice a female mate, males engage in courtship displays like the “butterfly flight.” The male performs a “butterfly flight,” in which he soars 20 to 30 meters into the air before gliding slowly to a perch and continuing to sing loudly. Moreover, men protect their partners from other men and provide for them (a practice known as courtship feeding).

Females seem to prefer males that have bright red feathers. The red color comes from the foods the male eats. A male that is extremely red indicates that he is in good health, an excellent forager, and would make a good mate. (Hill, 1990; Hill, 1993).

  • Mating System
  • monogamous

House finches breed between March and August. A breeding pair can lay up to six clutches of eggs in a single summer, but they can typically only raise three of those clutches to maturity. The female builds the nests, which are shallow and cup-shaped. They are constructed from grasses, hair, or other readily available fibers and found in bird boxes, shrubs, cacti, tree cavities, and buildings. Three to six bluish or greenish-white eggs with black spots near the large end are laid by the female. Each egg weighs approximately 2. 4 g and hatches in roughly 13 or 14 days. After the eggs hatch, the female completes the incubation process and cares for the nude chicks for a few days.

By consuming the fecal sacs the chicks produce, both parents clean the nest and provide food for the nestlings. When the nestlings are between 12 and 19 days old, they depart the nest. The male keeps feeding the fledglings for about two weeks. The female constructs a fresh nest and starts caring for the following brood.

After they become independent, young house finches form large flocks. The following spring, these juvenile finches will be able to reproduce. (Palmer and Fowler, 1975).

  • How frequently does reproduction occur? In one summer, a breeding pair may lay up to six clutches of eggs.
  • Breeding season
    House finches breed between March and August.
  • Range eggs per season
    3 to 6
  • Average eggs per season
  • Range time to hatching
    12 to 17 days
  • Average time to hatching
    13.5 days
  • Range fledging age
    12 to 19 days
  • Age range for females reaching sexual or reproductive maturity: 1 to 1 year
  • Age range for males reaching sexual or reproductive maturity: one to one year

After the eggs hatch, the female tends to the chicks by incubating them. A few days after the chicks hatch, the male helps take care of the female by bringing food to her. When the chicks are inside the nest, both parents feed them. The male typically keeps feeding the chicks after they leave the nest, and the female starts constructing the nest for the following brood.

  • Parental Investment
  • altricial
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • provisioning
      • male

What do they look like?

House finches are small songbirds. Adults typically weigh 19 to 22 g and measure 14 cm in length. Their wings are about 8. 4 cm long and tails are about 6. 6 cm long. Females are approximately 1. 3 cm shorter than males. Males have rosy-pink throats and rumps. They have a red line across their eyes, a light red streak down their backs, a whitish and brown streak down their abdomens, and brown streaks on their wings, sides, and tails. Females may have some pale red coloring in addition to their general brownish color. Young house finches look similar to adult females.

House Finches may be confused with Purple Finches. The upper parts of purple finches are more reddish in color, while their abdomens are not streaked.

  • Other Physical Features
  • endothermic
  • bilateral symmetry
  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • male larger
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • male more colorful
  • Range mass
    19 to 22 g
    0.67 to 0.78 oz
  • Average length
    14 cm
    5.51 in
  • Average basal metabolic rate
    0.3108 W


How often do finches lay eggs in a year?

House finches breed between March and August. A breeding pair may lay as many as 6 clutches of eggs in one summer, but they usually can only successfully raise up to 3 clutches. The female builds the nests, which are shallow and cup-shaped.

How long do finch babies stay in nest?

Clutch Size:
2-6 eggs
Egg Length:
0.6-0.8 in (1.6-2.1 cm)
Egg Width:
0.5-0.6 in (1.3-1.5 cm)
Incubation Period:
13-14 days
Nestling Period:
12-19 days

Do finches use the same nest every year?

House finch can have up to six broods each year between March and August, but they are more likely to have two or three. They also will reuse their nests for the subsequent broods. A house finch is more likely to return to her nest than she is to pick the same mate.

Do finches sit on their eggs all the time?

Once a pair starts sitting, they must do so nearly around the clock until the chicks hatch.