(yes, out of focus)
Unsure if what I was seeing was correct I went and grabbed my binoculars and checked. Sure enough - it was not a juvenile Cardinal. But what was it... and why was Mr. Cardinal feeding a baby that wasn't "his"?
|Mr. Cardinal & Brown Headed Cowbird|
|One too many mouths!!|
Definitely not a Finch as it was tooo big as a baby. I know it wasn't a Robin - we have a baby in the yard and his/her parents are taking great care of it. We also have at least 3 baby Brown Thrashers - which are similar in size and shape to a Mockingbird... nope.
Brown Headed Cowbird Baby
The good and the bad of nature.
Mother Nature has for some reason seen to it that some birds will NOT nest. They lay eggs though but they do it in OTHER birds nests. Most
|Mr & Mrs Cardinal and|
Baby Brown Headed Cowbird
Watching what I saw yesterday and then many times again today - made me sad and intrigued that Mr & Mrs Cardinal took care of these "Are You My Mother?" babies. Sad because I worry that the Cardinal's actual babies may not have survived. I am keeping my eyes open though - in the hopes that maybe it/they are still in the nest and simply haven't fledged yet. Mrs Cardinal was present a couple times yesterday but did not spend time feeding the faux "baby" much so my hope is she was attending to her true babies.
|Preparing to feed the baby...|
|Going in for the pass...|
Although nature can sadden you - did the parasite babies (Cowbird babies) push out the true babies? It also really intrigues me that the Cardinal - which really must know that "this is not my baby" continued to feed them when they asked for it.
|The Baby was on the bird bath and Mr Cardinal brought the food to it.|