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.