Jun 07
Print Print

Juvenile Eastern Bluebird

It’s a popular question right now.

Fledglings are visiting backyards and their appearance can vary highly from their parents making you wonder, “What bird is that?”

Some are spotted, fuzzy or disheveled looking such as bluebirds (pictured above) or robins.

Some have short-looking tails making them fly a bit funny like wrens and nuthatches.

Some are very fresh and clean looking but some coloration seems out of place such as the red spot on the top of the head instead of the back on a young male Downy Woodpecker.

No matter the fledgling, they are all hungry and looking for lots of protein-rich foods to help grow their bodies and feathers. Mealworms, Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® or Bark Butter Bits and blends with tree nuts are excellent foods to offer them.

Keep your feeders filled, an identification guide handy and feel free to ask us “What bird is that?” in our comment section here, on our Facebook page or in your local Wild Birds Unlimited store.

What fledglings are you seeing and what are they eating?

Tagged with:
Jun 02
Print Print

Sometimes you just get lucky!

For the past six years I have been fortunate enough to have a Pileated Woodpecker periodically roosting in a Sycamore tree not more than 40 yards from my house and easily visible from my living room window. Pretty lucky and definitely cool!

As Pileated Woodpeckers pair bond for life and hold a year round territory, my roosting Pileated and its mate visit my Tail Prop suet feeder almost daily…often at the same time. Very lucky and really cool!

But my luck reached its peak this spring as my Pileated pair decided to excavate their nest in a second sycamore located right next to the original roost tree. Needless to say, the yard work has suffered greatly as most of my outdoor “chore” time has been spent watching their captivating nesting activity.

Over the Memorial Day weekend it became obvious that the three nestlings were about to fledge. The young had obtained their juvenal plumage and sat teetering on the rim of the nest hole, vocalizing cheap imitations of their parents stronger calls.

Hoping to catch the main event, I set up a Vortex Razor spotting scope on the edge of my driveway to watch every detail and armed myself with the camera on my iPhone in hope of recording the nestling’s departure.

You could say this is where my luck failed me!

After three days of almost constant surveillance, the youngsters still called the sycamore home as the sun set on Memorial Day. And yes, as you have probably already guessed, they were gone by the time I returned home from work on Tuesday night!

I may have missed the big show…but what a privileged weekend I had being able to totally immerse myself into the world of this Pileated family. A true “How cool is that!” experience and one that I would like to try to share with you.

To give you a feel for what I was observing, I have posted a video clip of Momma Pileated feeding her young at the nesting cavity.

Pretty cool! And even though they have fledged, it’s not the end of the story.

Since the three juveniles will stay with their parents in their home territory for most of the summer, I am hoping to witness one more big show – the sight of five Pileated Woodpeckers making repeated visits to the suet and peanut feeders in my backyard!

Wish me luck!

Tagged with:
May 14
Print Print

Last night we watched the owl box from our deck as both parents were calling to each other from different parts of the woods.  We could see the top of one of the owlets head as it tried to look outside at the big world and find its parents. It won’t be long until they leave the box and finish maturing outside of  the box just living in the trees. The parents will feed them all summer and we will be able to hear them calling their special hissing sound all summer.

Tagged with:
May 28
Print Print

Percy Waving Goodbye

Percy says, “Adios!” Percy left the nest for the last time on Monday, May 24th.  Since then he and his sister Sarah have been hanging around in the trees in the forest near the nest box. His parents still bring food to him and will do so all summer.

Tagged with:
May 23
Print Print

Ok, with wing and claw, I’ll get up this tree. By the way, all these great photos were taken by Nancy Carpenter.

Tagged with:
May 23
Print Print

With her wings and claws, Sarah can climb trees and fly very short distances.

Tagged with:
May 23
Print Print

Sarah taking a rest in this fork a few feet above her box.  This is Sat., May 22, 2010.  Sarah has officially fledged as she did not return to her box Sat. night and she has not been back to the box on Sunday.  She is somewhere close in the woods, but we did not see her today.

Tagged with:
preload preload preload
Nature Blog Network