The gardens and open spaces around here are rapidly filling up now with legions of scruffy young birds eagerly harassing their parents for food, food and more food … NOW! Terrific treat this evening … regular readers will be aware that the local Pileated Woodpecker, which was last seen just before the New Year, has been heard many times but not seen (by me – J sees it all over the place) since and so has only been a “heard” on the Walking Bigby list for the year – well, now we know what it has been up to, because it just payed an extended visit to one of our peanut feeders to stock up on high calorie food which it then proceeded to stuff down the throat of its demanding youngster.
First the parent (note nut crumbs on its belly) –
… and now here is its offspring sitting on top of the nearby cat-run, bouncing up and down showing off his Mohican hair-cut and demanding supper. For euro-readers not familiar with this species, the adult is large American Crow size and the youngster is almost as big – that’s a lot of calories that need to be found each day.
A couple of days ago we had a similar display of parental nut-stuffing by a male Northern Cardinal and his kid. The picture was taken through glass though – sorry about the quality. You’d think that when teenage birds get to adult size they’d go off and fend for themselves but it doesn’t work like that. For Cardinals at least, once he finally does get this lump of teenage “gimme” off his hands he’ll probably go off and produce another brood before the fall.
Finally, here’s a male Cardinal in the act of trying to flee the camera …