Sunday, April 28, 2013

Baby Titmice are Here

I have been waiting for a chance to get some shots of our new baby Northern Cardinals this Spring but this batch have been hiding in the shrubs most of the time. They are heard all the time and seen flying briefly for half a second every now and then but they seem to rarely sit out in the open at all. Better for their survival especially since the neighborhood cats do prowl through every now and again. Plus, the parents are very busy flying food in.

They seemed a bit more active today some I decided to sneak around the side of the backyard in hopes of getting a new angle on them and it also gave me a chance to check if the owls were around. It seems the owls have decided on the wetlands this year. Not a sound of them. While I was scanning the branches, the young male Cardinal actually flew up on the fence just 6 feet away from me. Don't think he meant to as he spotted me and quickly flew over to the oak tree to check me out from a safer distance.

Northern Cardinal

A new sound suddenly joined the den as I walked on the side of the house. Seems that a new species have brought their young out to feed. Tufted Titmice were up in the branches and a couple youngsters were loudly calling and begging for food.

Tufted Titmouse

I hurried in the backyard and took a seat and watched for any other birds to come out of hiding. The Titmice seemed to have plenty of food in the trees but they soon began coming to the sunflower seeds right in front of me.

Tufted Titmouse

The female juvenile Northern Cardinal never would come out into the sunshine but I finally got her in an open spot in the shade. A second female made her presents known after a while and it seemed to be even younger than this one in the photo.

Northern Cardinal

The Blue Jays were flying in almost constantly but moving so quickly that I could barely get them in focus.

Blue Jay

The Tufted Titmouse family kept feeding from several sources and the adults always had a young one close behind.

Tufted Titmouse

Later, I headed off to the store and was sidetracked (as usual) by another sighting around the corner. Northern Mockingbirds have been everywhere this Spring and the young are finally coming out of the nests. I tried to get a shot of one of this family the other day but they dashed back to the nest shrub. I stayed in the van and could get a shot of one calling for Mom who was on the wire overhead with bugs ready to deliver.

Northern Mockingbird

While I did this, a dragonfly flew into the van, bounced around the windshield before seemingly sucumming to the heat on the dash. I got a photo before releasing the stunned insect. My friend Paul IDs it as a male Eastern Amberwing.

Eastern Amberwing

Babies all over! Ah, Spring.

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