Spring is here and baby birds are everywhere. For the first time in years I had a family of robins nesting on a box in the backyard. Lucky for me as an avid watcher, I also had two sets of house sparrows, orioles, a woodpecker and cardinals nearby.
The American robins provided me with hours of peaceful entertainment while I soaked up some spring sunshine out back. The mom would come to the nest with a beak full of worms, feeding the three young birds in turn. The babies grew so fast and it seemed in no time they were standing on the edge of the nest pushing each other around. My husband Erle and I knew it wouldn’t be long before they attempted their first flight. A mere five minutes later, the mom returned, fed two of the babies, and flew off again…followed closely behind by one of the babies. The little one landed in the yard next door and bounced off after her mommy.
I was at Rosetta MacClain Gardens on the weekend when a fellow photographer pointed out that the cardinals had fledged. Complete with a mini mohawk atop its crown, the baby cardinal rested in the middle of the bush. He did a test flight, landed at my feet, then quickly turned around and hid back in the bush. We saw two other young northern cardinals that morning.
Later in the day as the rain clouds opened up, a family of killdeer babies huddled under their mother for cover. Camouflaged by the tree, the adult hid four young killdeer (who were just born that morning) beneath her wings. Look closely at photo and see if you can spot the extra legs.
I went back to the park after work one day and Beach Metro News General Manager Phil Lameira was there with his binoculars. Both of us were thrilled to observe two young owlets sitting on a branch.
As the owlets preened each other and bobbed their heads, all I could think was how lucky we were to witness these beautiful little creatures’ first experiences as a family in nature. I certainly appreciated why spring is considered the season of growth, renewal and new beginnings.