Unruly Teenagers

I have a clutch of baby Cardinals in my yard that have obviously just recently fledged.  They are of course loud, obnoxious and uniformly demanding of their tired parents.  When one of the parents comes down to the feeders to get a well deserved meal the youngsters will follow and demand to be fed also.

It is quite comical, they will sit on the feeders, with food not inches from their beaks, and flap their wings and screech at their parents, demanding to be fed.  The poor overworked parents will do their best to ignore them but there they are, loud and obnoxious.   Despite the fact that they are siblings (or perhaps because they are siblings) they will think nothing of chasing each other off from a prime spot closest to the parent.  Occasionally one of the parents will tire of the screeching and pop a shelled sunflower seed into the youngsters mouth, which of course does not stop the screeching, it merely increases the volume, which makes them exactly like human teenagers when you think about it.

I have seen this all before of course, and eventually the fledglings will realize that flapping of wings and screeching will do no good and will begin cracking open their own sunflower seeds.   Still it is nice to see the babies.  I cannot wait until the boys start to get their adult plumage in as it will make for some nice “ugliest cardinal in the world” photos until they complete their moult.   Should the 100+ temperatures allow it this weekend I will attempt to get some photographs.


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