Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Babies and a Bird's Circle of Life


                                                      Juvenile(juvenal) American Robin


                                                Recently Fledged Red-winged Blackbird


                                                          Immature Great-tailed Grackle


                                                                     Bell's Vireo


                                                                  Eastern Meadowlark


67-82 degrees F/0738-1018 hrs./12-15 mph wind gusts/partly cloudy


The weather has not been very co-operative over the past couple of weeks, for there has been
heavy cloud cover in the early morning or rain.  The sun poked through the clouds relatively early,
so I ran out the door in hopes of getting a few photos.

As luck would have it, several of my first-seen of the day were young birds, which I have been
hoping for.  For those of you that have never seen a young American Robin, this is a good example
of the spotted breast, which clearly shows that it is in the thrush family.

This recently fledged(not long out of the nest) Red-winged Blackbird was seen hiding in the weeds,
waiting for a parent to return with food.

This Great-tailed Grackle is an immature bird with feathers that denote it still as a young bird, but it still doesn't have the feathers of an adult.  Note the bill, which is a good clue on the fact that this is
a bird in the grackle family.  The tail is still a little short for an adult, the gape(mouth) still shows some yellow, and it is out in the open awaiting a parent to provide food.  This bird is old enough not to draw attention to itself in order to attract a predator, like a hawk.

This lovely example of a Bell's Vireo is a singing male.  Normally these birds remain in a dense shrub
or in the leaves of a tree, which tells me that this bird is actively seeking a mate or doesn't yet have
any offspring.  This vireo was observed at the tops of trees at three different short-spaced occasions
on this morning.

This Eastern Meadowlark has been singing in the vicinity for quite some time.  He had attracted a female several weeks ago, but the field where he and his mate had been trying to nest had been mowed once already.  Either something happened to her, or she simply disappeared for whatever
reason, so he is still trying to find a female to mate with.

This is the time to be aware of young birds on the ground, so do watch where you step, even if on a
sidewalk.  Also be aware that an adult bird is watching the young bird, so please don't take it away
thinking that it has been abandoned.  Unless you are certain that this bird has been unattended for several hours, do NOT intervene.  If you see the young bird covered with ants, DO take action and seek the help of a licensed rehabilitator.  The ants will eat that bird alive.

For assistance in locating a rehabilitation, contact your local veterinarian or a warden.