The baby Mockingbird I reported earlier is getting big enough to fly and turns out to be one of two babies living in the bushes in front of the house.

Still has some of his downy bird fuzz, but should be grown and on his way soon. We’re pretty tired of the incessant peeping. The mother Mockingbird does keep a watchful eye on the youngsters and goes to the backyard frequently for food.

Distressing that the Grackles have been showing up in greater numbers. We’ve even seen some babies being fed by their parents. They love the suet and the bread we put out and gunk up the birdbath dunking it.

I put out a larger feeder that is filled with a seed and corn cake. The bigger birds love it and the Blue Jay finally has a feeder that can accommodate his size.

Ricky the Cardinal was putting on a an odd show as I sat in the backyard this afternoon. Leaning from one side to another and making an insistant chirping noise he seemed to be confronting me.

Or showing off for the lady Cardinal…

Speaking of Ricky…a few weeks ago I noticed these two dark birds I had not seen before. Dull brown heads and smallish. About the size of the Cardinals and definitely not Blackbirds, Crows or Grackles. I didn’t really think much of it until this weekend when I saw this

It was obvious to me that the black bird was doing that little wing shake open mouth thing that baby birds do when they want their parents to feed them. Certainly Ricky was not going to feed this guy…WRONG!

What the heck? I watched Ricky feed this guy on and off all weekend. On Friday when I mentioned it to Cynthia she said “Oh, that’s a Cowbird!”

Turns out that Cowbirds lay their eggs in Cardinal nests and if the Cardinal doesn’t detect that a strange bird’s egg has been added the Cardinal will hatch the egg and raise the Cowbird as it’s own.

Poor Ricky! I can just imagine him thinking “Boy this kid’s ugly…and what an appetite! Guess he takes after his mother’s side of the family….”

Backyard Birding Report
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5 thoughts on “Backyard Birding Report

  • June 15, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Per usual, great pics. Poor Ricky.

  • June 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    damn cowbirds. There are programs to trap and kill em. They showed up at our feeders in April

  • June 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Is that mother Mockingbird sitting on an Old Smokey by any chance? Great pics BTW.

  • June 16, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Show me a bird watcher, bird lover, I’ll show you a person worth knowing.

  • June 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Rich: That is indeed an Old Smokey! A friend of mine’s family owns the business as it turns out. He sent me one as a thank you for some camera advice I gave him before a trip. We used it to cook some meat that was going to spoil otherwise after Ike.

    Mity: You are too kind!

    Big Al: I am wondering if this is going to be a problem…

    Gail: Thanks!

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