One of the Blessings of Covid was working from home. Finally. Been begging for it for years. Out side of the two windows in the living room are two bird feeders. On a regular basis I can view cardinals, blue jays, house/redheaded finches, nuthatch, brown thrush, crested tit mice and the occasional gold finch. Is has been interesting to see the antics of teenage/yearling cardinals going through their straggled phases after they shed their fluffy feathers. One of the males last year was bald for about a month. The other day I had a mother and newish baby cardinal at one of our feeders. The baby was almost as big as it’s mother with all of the baby fluff feather. It was going to the mom and doing the ” feed me ” dance where they open their mouths and beat their wing feathers. Mom was apparently “over” Junior’s food demands and it was time he learned to forage for himself. Mom fed him about twice and then flew off. Junior jumped down into one of the feeders and started learning to feed himself. I will be willing to bet she will have to try this more than once with him… including how to find other things besides sunflower seeds.. baby seems to have a food dependent relationship with mom.
Poppy and the two other squirrels seem to be doing fine, but I did see them crossing the road, which is a bad idea. Speaking of Poppy, that is where I was going with this journal entry. The feeders were installed for the birds and entertainment for my cats, who mostly watch from inside at the windows. The frustration of most bird lovers is that the squirrels get in the feeders and know food everywhere. Well… this trickles down. Then you have skunks, possums and raccoons who eat the stuff that gets knocked out and are on the ground. And then add, bugs and other insects that might benefit from the seed and or even just the moist ground under the shells. I am supporting a small ecosystem. I found out last year I had some Dekay brown snakes. (thanks to my son-in-law, or I would have to give up gardening, as they are everywhere) I am betting they may be food to some of those animals on the above list as well, and my gardening efforts seem to make a happy breeding place for them.
7/08/2021 — I have been watching the baby cardinals and their forays into the world and their interactions with some of the other birds. I observed a female house finch giving one “what for” when it tried to hog the whole feeder tray. They some how know that even though the baby cardinal is bigger they can intimate them at this stage.