After a period of relative quiet, dozens of House Finches suddenly emerged in July, feeding in shrubs and grasslands on the western side of the park. These are almost certainly the new hatchlings of the season. After Mom laid the eggs, it took about two weeks for them to hatch, and then about another two weeks of squatting in the nest and begging for food before they were ready to use their wings and forage. Unique among songbirds, they’re almost exclusively vegetarian, showing little interest in bugs or similar protein. Only a few of these birds showed the typical red colors of the males. The rest were younger, at which point they all look like females. It’s good to see these pretty and useful finches that work hard cleaning the grasslands of loose weed seeds.