Backyard Fledglings

The baby Eastern Kingbirds aren’t the only babies I’ve seen recently. I’ve had a Song Sparrow visiting my yard on and off these past few months, and one day I looked out the window to see her with three fledglings! They were all clustered beneath my feeder, fluttering their wings while Momma stuffed seeds into their mouths. Since then I’ve seen them in my yard every now and then, though I’ve never seen them all together since that first time. One morning I saw one of the sparrows on top of my bird house.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

He appeared to be examining the crevices for insects; he seemed comfortable up there, even stretching a wing before a female House Sparrow chased him off!

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

The House Sparrows have been bringing their newly-fledged offspring to my yard as well. I see usually see the males feeding them, rather than the females. This little bird sat patiently on my fence while waiting for Papa to bring her some food. Notice the bright yellow gape:

House Sparrow fledgling

House Sparrow fledgling

Although I haven’t seen any baby Chipping Sparrows or grackles, I have had a family of Blue Jays visiting my yard. Normally I only see the jays in the fall, between September and December when they come to fatten up on the peanuts I give them before the snow comes and they migrate south. This year, however, they nested in my neighbourhood for the first time (that I know of). In the spring I saw them breaking off twigs from the tree in my front yard for nesting material, and have frequently heard and seen them at my feeder all summer. One day they brought two fledglings to my yard to eat; the young called incessantly for food while fluttering their wings to ensure their parents knew they were there and that they were hungry.

Though I’ve seen a pair of Northern Cardinals in my yard frequently this summer, I am not sure if they have had any young. I have seen the male cardinal feeding the female even at this late date, and had to make sure it was not a juvenile. Male cardinals often feed females as part of their mating behavior. Cardinals may raise more than one brood each season, so perhaps these two are in between broods. It would be fantastic if they brought their young to my yard, too!

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