Do Northern cardinal fledglings really look like this? I would have known this was a fledgling even without the parents nearby. It's persistent peepish rattling was of the cannot-be-ignored variety. But if I had seen him alone, I never would have guessed this was a juvenile cardinal. Wouldn't you expect olive or brownish feathers? [Don't miss the last paragraph of this post. It explains this unexpected occurrence!]
Me too. But I took a jog around the internet (where else?) and found some images that looked just like this one. Some of the juveniles had rust feathers but there were also these gray little guys. (The above images were taken through the window.)
And here's proud papa. He was singing in these first two images but I was a second or two too late to capture it. He's perched in the spot where many birds pause to look around before advancing to feed.
Both he and the female have been coming to the plate for suet and sunflower seeds and today I happened to hear the juvenile and looked out to see him sitting under the plate being fed.
The plate is pictured here with a blue jay patron.
And below papa is back to hunting up meals for that fledgling.
Busy time of year!
Note: Jeff Gordon to the rescue again. Jeff is a very experienced bird field guide expert and presenter from Delaware. This is not the first time Jeff's seen something amiss in the bird ID department on my blog. I'm grateful he noticed this one and straightened out who this strange looking fledgling actually belongs to. Read Jeff's note in the comment section. The fledgling pictured above is not a cardinal at all, but a very hungry cowbird fledgling, a species that parasitizes other bird's nests, that is, removes the other bird's egg and lays their own in its place. Sigh. Thanks Jeff...
Take in some interesting field experiences, fun humor and beautiful images at Jeffery A Gordon's blog.
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #38 and Birdfreak. com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.