Saturday I checked the house finch nest and found that there are five chicks. I think they hatched Thursday which is pretty amazing considering how chilly it's been in Minnesota the last few days. It's a testament to how hardy house finches are and demonstrates one of the many reasons they were able to spread across the eastern United States so quickly.
A check of the hooded merganser nest showed the female was out for the morning and kept her eggs well covered in the 34 degree temperatures. I felt around the nest and 11 eggs appears to be the final total of eggs.