We humans are not the only creatures prone to mid-spring graduations. All around us young birds are fledging, leaving their natal nests and going out into the world. Often to follow and beg from mom or dad. Yesterday my birding class got to watch a female Purple Finch being harried by two hungry youngster who followed here each time she flew.
In the past few days in my garden there has been a female House Finch with two young, an adult and fledgling Red-breasted Nuthatch, an adult female and fledgling Flicker. Yesterday there were newly fledged Robins along the Willamette Greenway with their speckled chests still in evidence.
Adult House Finch:
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH GALLERY: This pale-chested bird is a fledgling. He stands about, watches, has little of the speed and verve of his parent who’ll swoop down and take a seed and depart forthwith. Here are the young and old briefly on the same platform. Not long after this the adult swooped down with a sharp warning cry and drove the youngster off the feeder. I think the parent was warning, “Don’t stand there you idiot, you’re an easy target. Take the seed and run.” For awhile my wife and I were working nearby and the young nuthatch arrived. We stood still and he began eating.mmThe first sunflower chip he picked up didn;t suit so he set it on the edge of the feeding platform. Then he ate several small chips before throwing one over his shoulder to the ground. Then he ate a couple more before picking up a whole seed and dropping it over the edge. He ate one more chip and then a last one and flew up into the tree. I rarely see an adult nuthatch eat a seed while at the feeder. They almost always retreat to a more sheltered spot. Here the youngster can’t decide–is this seed to be eaten or discarded?
820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens) 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) 2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X