Monday, August 22, 2016

Getting a Little Cuter

Most baby birds are quite ugly when they hatch, all feathers and beak.  As they grow, they become much more attractive and by the time they fledge they are downright cute.  You may recall the very young Northern Cardinal fledgling I posted a few weeks ago.  It was by far the youngest cardinal I have seen outside the nest and was not the most attractive one.  I don't think it could fly to perch on the feeder to get fed.  The bird was fed by the father on the deck railing for quite some time.  I did not see the female feeding this little one.

Now the cardinal comes to the feeder independently.  Interestingly enough, it never eats at the feeder but rather brings a sunflower seed to the deck and eats there.  Perhaps that is what it became accustomed to when it was being fed.  I fear it is not much more attractive.

The young cardinal has a sunflower seed on the railing in front of him.
It saw me and I was afraid it would fly when I clicked the camera.

 But it didn't fly and gobbled up the seed.

 The bird is showing signs of maturing but is still rather clumsy.

This is how it looked the end of June when the father was bringing food and feeding it.
We did not see the female. It made us wonder if something had happened to her

Summer is definitely waning here.  The katydid chorus is so loud in the evenings it makes outside conversation difficult.  Our weather has returned to "normal" and we are delighted.  We feel almost cheated out of our marvelous mountain summer this year.  So it is especially wonderful to have the mild days, cool nights and mountain breezes we are supposed to have.  We are blessed indeed.


The Bug said...

Our cardinals fly away if we even THINK about getting the camera, much less actually click the thing :)

We've been amused at the young sparrows in our yard. They don't really know to be afraid of us & continue to munch away while we stare & talk about them. So cute!

Nance said...

The Heat Dome finally moved on here, too. For the first time in over a month, we were able to turn off the AC both here in NEO and down at the lakehouse. Sitting out on the deck seemed like such a treat (probably because it was, having been a real rarity this summer). Having fresh air in the house has provided such a lift.

We've had a sudden onrush of baby birds, too. It seems late, doesn't it? A lot of bluejays are hitting up the suet feeder and hollering like crazy. I'm in heaven since they are my favourite.

Arkansas Patti said...

He really does have room for improvement in the looks dept. Kind of sad about the mother being missing but neat that dad has taken over the duties.
I so worry about the new fledglings in my yard for they are the only ones Callie can catch. She has killed 3 this year. I hate it.

Kay G. said...

We love our juvenile cardinals and we find it fascinating to watch them change into their correct colors! Great photos!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

You're right about young birds, especially Cardinals. They really aren't the prettiest when they're younger, but they make up for it as adults.

I'm glad our weather has turned too even thought it's darker at 5:30 when we take our first walk, making it hard to see any of our renegades that are off lead.

Ms. A said...

Better than it was, but still not very attractive.

While we won't ever have your mountain weather, I'm ready for some cooler temps, too.

Lowcarb team member said...

You managed to get some good shots here ... and so many birds looks improve with age.

I do hope your week is going well and the weather is being kind.
Parts of the UK are experiencing temperatures like 29 / 30 degrees, which is hot!

All the best Jan

Cheryl said...

I have a soft spot for juveniles, so vulnerable.
We are in the middle of a heatwave but in contrast the mornings are misty and are taking on a look of Autumn.
I love the turning of the clock..........cannot wait for the wonderful colours autumn brings.

Enjoy your summer days.......

Busy Bee Suz said...

He certainly is improving in the looks dept. :) Glad you're having nicer weather; I wish you could share.

Ginnie said...

Wow...lucky you. I have never seen a baby cardinal although I have 3 pairs of the adults. She/he sure looks fragile.

robin andrea said...

Love seeing that cardinal on your deck. How cute that it brings its seeds there to eat. Nice to watch it change and grow up like that. I've been noticing how the light is changing here and the real sense of autumn is in the air. Such a time!

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh yes yes, this is the mountain summer weather I love so much...though we walked around in a cloud this morning until 10 am, looking as if it was still dawn. Great shots of Jr. Cardinal, and he's so smart to stick around and finish his meal no matter what your camera may be doing. After all, you are the source of his food!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Bug - Perhaps it is because we are so often out on the deck that they think we are part of the furniture. We sort of move about as often.

Nance - We have a big outdoor fan on the deck and another on the screened porch. Otherwise we wouldn't do much deck sitting either. We rarely see bluejays. Not sure why since they live here year 'round.

Patti - It's hard to think of our sweet pets being predators but Callie is a cat and that's what cats do. Would she tolerate a bell?

Kay - Yes, they usually turn into lovely birds. This may be a bit slower than most.

Kim - I do hate the early dark.

Ms. A - We're waiting for our mountain weather again. It's returned to hot and humid.

Jan - I did read about your heat wave. Hope you get a respite soon.

Cheryl - I'm looking forward to photographs of your garden in Autumn.

Suz - The good weather was short-lived. But we hope it will return sooner rather than later.

Ginnie - I thought so too. And it's still rather clumsy.

Robin - We can also sense the coming of autumn.

Barbara - I hope this changing weather doesn't play havoc on your respiratory problems.