(぀◔ΰ±ͺβ—”)γ€β”β˜†οΎŸ.*ο½₯q゚ The 2023 TKSST Gift Guide βœ©Β°ο½‘β‹†ο½₯゚ Β 
Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Raising a Zebra Finch, from tiny egg to itty bitty hatchling to small bird

Watch more with these video collections:

“This is the smallest bird I’ve ever hatched,” explains Alwyn Wils from the bird (and squirrel) rescue-focused YouTube channel A Chick Called Albert.

“After a little Finch had lost her partner, I was asked if she could stay in my big Aviary. When I returned home after picking her up, on the way back she had laid an egg in the little transport box! Birds only do this when they have an egg that needs to be laid.

“I knew there was only a small chance she would accept and hatch this egg in an actual nest herself, but I wanted to try before I set plan B in motion…”

confused mother bird
The eggs of the zebra finch are typically laid in a nest made of grass and other plant materials, and the incubation period, helmed by both parents, is around 12-16 days. According to FinchInfo.com, “many pairs will not incubate a clutch unless there are at least 3 eggs present in the nest.”

candling the egg
Wils was able to protect the egg thanks to an incubator that kept it warm as it developed. By candling the eggβ€”holding a bright light behind the eggβ€”he was able to observe its everchanging growth. It eventually began to poke its way out of the shell.

Zebra finch hatchlings are altricial: they are born without feathers, their eyes closed and they are unable to move or feed themselves. The babies are completely dependent on their parents for warmth and food, a secretion called “crop milk” that’s produced by the lining of the parents’ crops.

This secretion is high in protein and fat and helps the hatchlings to grow quickly. A pro at caring for baby birds, Wils had an alternative ready.

up close: baby bird feeding
By the time they are two weeks old, finch hatchlings are fully feathered and are able to leave the nest. Wils shares the young bird’s charismatic personality at the video’s end.

There’s more from Alwyn Wils’ Netherlands-based ACCA on YouTube and Patreon.

Previously from A Chick Called Albert on TKSST:
β€’Β Tiny egg rescue: Hatching and raising a baby budgie
β€’ Helping a blind white squirrel acclimate to her new home

Bonus: More hatching videos.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Why don’t birds lay ‘square’ eggs?

Rion Nakaya

Why Do Supermarket Eggs Look Perfect?

Rion Nakaya

Tiny egg rescue: Hatching and raising a baby budgie

Rion Nakaya

The Guillemot egg, an egg that saves its own life

Rion Nakaya

The Field Museum’s amazing egg collection

Rion Nakaya

The Elephant Bird Egg and rare footage of young David Attenborough

Rion Nakaya

Rangers candle the Royal Albatross egg at the RoyalCam nest

Rion Nakaya

Polar Bears Eat Goose Eggs: New eating habits in warmer climates

Rion Nakaya

Observation of shell-less chick embryo development

Rion Nakaya