Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Daddy Dearest

The activity around our bird feeder has picked up to normal levels after the one week break while we were out of town.

Yesterday, I was finally able to snap pictures ( a little glare from the glass screen) of the baby cardinal that I had written about earlier, this time grown to near adult size. It is accompanied by its Dad, who picks out seeds from the feeder and shoves it into Baby's mouth. A big baby indeed!

No sign of Mom though. Is she off shopping instead of caring for Junior? I wonder how the cardinal society works.

From this link:
Cardinals are believed to breed from April to September. A female cardinal lays an average of three to four eggs. The females are responsible for incubating the eggs while the males look for food for his mate and later for their young. At nine to 10 days, the young cardinals can already fly. Once they leave their nest, the male parent takes care of the fledglings and feed them with insects for three weeks while the female prepares for a second brood. It is said that the male has a strong instinct to feed such that he is capable of feeding fledglings of other species.
In another fascinating look at Cardinal Society:
After the fledging of their young, adult cardinals sometimes divide the adult takes some fledglings to one part of the territory, the other adult takes the rest to another part of the territory.
Actually,she was most probably away caring for her other offspring. And here I was hoping that the female cardinal had decided to take some 'me time' for herself.


Lekhni said...

I didn't know Cardinals are up there with emperor penguins in having caring Dads :)

I can imagine the Dad foraging in the wild for food and feeding his kid. But this Dad seems to be taking it a little too far - surely the baby can pick his own seeds when they are laid out right before him? :)

Sujatha said...

Actually, the birdfeeder requires some precision flying to get on the perch. I think that Baby has yet to master that technique and relies on the dad to get seeds from the feeder.

Also, a flock of about a dozen Chipping sparrows have been feeding regularly at the feeder. There's a couple of babies needing feeding by adults among them, and they love to take long splashy baths in the bird bath- making for entertaining birdwatching.

Amit said...

You might enjoy reading this, as it also concerns a bird, bird feeder and some thoughts on life:

Sujatha said...

Interesting, even though a bit rambling, Amit. After all that musing about the ethics and morality of trying to modify the natural order of things in the wild, he concludes with a "I don't care, I'm happy enough with my experiences at the birdfeeder" which negates the paragraphs of existential wondering ;)