Spring brings baby birds to Beach and Bluffs

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.

Spring bird matings resulted in an abundance of young birds in the East End, including two of a trio of screech owls, above, a cardinal, below right, and a killdeer with its young, bottom. PHOTOS: Ann Brokelman
Spring bird matings resulted in an abundance of young birds in the East End, including two of a trio of screech owls, above, a cardinal, below right, and a killdeer with its young, bottom.
PHOTOS: Ann Brokelman

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.

If you take a stroll at any local park you will see a plethora of baby northern cardinals, killdeer, hairy and downy woodpeckers and more. wild side-newly fledged Ca copy

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.

wild side-killdeer_MG_6831


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4 comments

Ann: What an inspiring article. I hope it gets even a few converts to the world of birding. You’ve captured some very intimate moments in the lives of these creatures that most may never get to witness first hand. If it weren’t for these pictures I never would have guessed that a northern cardinal would fledge from the nest when it is still so small (and cute). Thank you for teaching something to everyone in each of your articles. In closing I’ll share my mantra “It’s not what you look at that matters, It’s what you see” a quote by Henry David Thoreau. Thank you for sharing.

Excellent as always Ann. If you wish, I will send you some critter photos from Alamosa on the East Don. Keep up the good work! Lou

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