Saturday, July 01, 2006

New Fledgling Cardinals!

We have fledgling cardinals! Today is rainy and gray, and the window is dirty, but I was still able to get a few pictures of the new batch of cardinals. Whenever an older bird shows up, they flutter their wings and squeek! "Feed me, feed me!" Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Then baby goes back to feeding himself!

Here's Junior. Isn't he cute?

There is definitely a hierarchy among all the birds. The babies know when it's ok to approach an older bird (maybe it's mom or dad), but they also know when to wait their turn. And males have priority over females, except when they're courting.

This little lady is waiting her turn at the feeder. She is probably a baby from earlier in the season. You can tell she is a bit older because her beak has taken on the orange color of the adults, while baby birds have a black beak.

These two little ones are waiting while another cardinal is at the feeder. They learn quickly who will share and who will not. If it is not their turn at the feeder, the senior bird will let them know. Especially if it is an older male (though not Dad).


Anonymous said...

Jus a few days ago we had baby cardinals in a burning bush right outside a window and could easily watch them. But the nest is now abandoned. Is this common?

Stormy said...

Hmmm... not sure. Something must have disturbed them, or somehow gotten the babies. If they were not fledged, the nest should not have been abandoned. If they were fledged, then yes, I assume they would find other places to roost for the night.

Anonymous said...

I am online trying to find an answer to the same question - we had a nest right outside a window and could watch. As of last night, the chicks were being fed by adults, but now the nest is empty. The male is still in our yard, cheeping and finding food, but no sign of the female or chicks.

When they fledge, can they fly? Will they stay in the same area as fledglings? Will the cardinals re-use the same nest for their second brood?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but you seem to know! Thanks!

Stormy said...

I believe that the term "fledgling" means that they have learned to fly. Are/were the "babies" in your nest about the size of the ones in my pictures? They should stay in the area for a while. You should see them at your feeders.

We have a lot of cardinals in our "woods" but none have nested where we could watch, so I'm not really able to answer your questions. We see them when they show up at the feeders, begging their parents to feed them. The adults will for a few days -- teaching them how to eat the seeds from the feeder, but then they're on their own. Whether or not they return to the nest once they have flown, I'm not sure, probably not. Will the adults reuse the same nest -- I don't know, but I think it's a possibility. They often have a couple of broods of chicks each year.

Have you checked out Cornell University's Ornithology pages? They would probably have something on song-bird nesting behavior.