Finch Behavior

15 01 2009

At sunset, I noticed that a handful of Pine Siskins were heavily investigating one of the squirrel dreys in my yard, which made me recall  an event from a few years back: after a particularly heavy daytime winter shower I went into the garden and discovered all of these Goldfinches (maybe a dozen or so) appearing from underneath a drey. My guess at the time was that they were sheltering under it during the downpour, which I thought was rather smart.

I then read today that dreys are generally only used as nests by squirrels in the summer (they prefer cavitie nests in winter) and also that the entrances were underneath, so as to protect them from the intrusion of the  elements.  So I wonder: a) whether those Goldfinches those years back were actually sitting out the storm inside the nest? and b) whether birds might use abandoned nests like this for overnight roosts?

Kind of interesting. It certainly seems like they might make the perfect overnight home for a cold finch. I’ll have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to see what, if anything, flys out. Of course the other possibility they were just investigating them for food?