Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Final Babies Of The Season Are Weaned and BEAKS

The third time is the charm. Success, finally, for the young local Cardinal pair? After two failed nests, the couple had some difficulty with figuring out how to build a sturdy nest, they've fledged at least two healthy young. The youngster above, looks to be a male. And yes, he's a fledge not an adult in molt. Look at his beak. A mature Cardinal of either sex has an orange beak.

And here is his sister foraging under the picnic table.

A female House Finch hurriedly has a meal between cloud bursts. Note her "finch" shaped beak and the raw spot at the corner of it. Feeding young, the poking food into erratic young beaks, can often cause irritation in that spot for the parent.

Dad Chipping Sparrow finally has undisturbed meal. Even yesterday, his youngest of the season was still sporadically begging

Speaking of Chipping Dad's youngest, here he/she is, busily working away at getting seeds ground down small enough to swallow. (Notice how much slimmer the sparrow beak is compared to the "finch" model.) Just a moment before, the fledgling stopped in mid chew, gagged slightly and then went back to chewing

The pattern of the soon-to-be rufous cap is plain to see on the top of his head.

A young House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, the brood seemed to have six in it, clings to the rope of the feeder up next to the eaves, in an attempt to stay dry during the latest shower.

House Sparrow Dad gleans seeds from the grass. He and his hen just raised a brood of six. They all still travel around together making their own little mini-flock.

House Sparrow Dad stands erect giving me a look. Note the high contrast of the black and white on the clean country male of this species. And he's giving us a good look at his "finch" beak that makes him along with the Brown-headed Cowbird, the Dickcissel, Bobolink and Lark Bunting in the "Finchlike Bird" category in many field guides.

Donegal Browne

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