Thursday, July 06, 2006

2006 Bird Babies

It has been a pretty successful breeding year around the neighborhood. Still looking for new Titmice but none so far. Let's take a look at what has been showing up this Spring and early Summer.

This year, the Cardinals moved their nesting spot. The past 2 years they have nested in a palm just outside our bedroom. I got some good shots of them 2 years ago and those shots are posted here.

We started seeing this year's young soon after they left the nest and started following their folks toward the feeders. We got home from a camping trip when I started hearing lot peeping, after a while, located where it was coming from. Now I know a Cardinal chick call pretty well.

They were often moving around the yard constantly. I finally managed to get a shot during one of the times that the Dad was feeding the baby boy. There was also a female chick this year and she feeds regularly at the feeder outside the kitchen window.


We had Cardinals breed just outside my office and I heard them all over the area. In late Spring, a pair of Cardinals decided to set up a nest right outside the front door of my in-law's home. The egg in the picture never hatched but the other two chicks survived and left the nest.


It was another good year for the Pileated Woodpeckers at Mead Gardens. They nested in a new tree this year and I found the whole family of four out one evening and managed to get a quick shot of one of the chicks as it checked me out as it followed the parents around the oaks.

Pileated Woodpecker

Mead also supported the first baby Barred Owls I have ever seen. I got a few shots of them one evening and those shots can be found in the bottom row of this page.

A trip to EPCOT this May revealed a very active colony of Purple Martins with a LOT of chicks patiently waiting for their parents to return with food. These are two of my favorite shots.


I especially like this chick with an almost bored expression.


I have also confirmed that the Blue Jays and Red-bellied Woodpeckers bred in the backyard area. There was also a sighting of a Great-crested Flycatcher feeding a chick in the tree right next to the house. A first for my yard counts.

The only sad note, so far, is that the Northern Mockingbirds lost their chicks. They had set up house in a small oak at the edge of the driveway. It was not a very well kept secret. Usually they nest in bushes well out of sight.


The morning after I took this shot I checked the nest again and it was empty. I wouldn't be surprised if the abundant Fish Crows got them. More crows around this year than in previous years.

I am sure there are more babies around. House Finches have been found nesting nearby and I bet the hawks are busy feeding young ones after seeing more and more hunting in the area lately. Definitely still worth paying attention.

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