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I know that house finches can be more orange than red, but I have never seen that. It is very pretty. I got a great look at this little fella sitting in the tree waiting for the “all clear at the feeder” call. The house finch that is with the goldfinch on the feeder looked more rosy than red. Neat colors on such a gray day! Click on pictures to enlarge.
I saw a red-bellied woodpecker this morning showing his kids where all the good food is. First, they went to the feeder in front of our house, then to the one in the back. The last stop was at the tree where I leave corn and peanuts for the squirrels. The young ones blend in so well since they do not have any red on their heads yet. I almost didn’t see them. It’s great that they can so easily go unnoticed with so many threats around. Click on pictures to enlarge.
For those of you who did not know this, brown-headed cowbirds do not raise their own young. They leave their eggs in the nests of other birds. Some say this evolved from when they were following herds of bison. I have seen young cowbirds this summer with groups of house sparrows and grackles. I have always suspected that some of the cardinals that nest in our yard were also raising cowbirds. Some folks get pretty hostile about this and really dislike cowbirds, which is really just speciesist. They are just doing what they do. I could go on about the irony of humans getting angry about this, but I think that is pretty clear. This morning, I witnessed a female cardinal feeding a young cowbird. There was an adult male cowbird nearby just taking it all in. I remember reading a while back that flocks of cowbirds will come and “collect” the young that are being raised by other species of birds. They have a special song they sing that calls them. Fascinating! I assume the young one I saw this morning is too young to go with the group, but how interesting that the adult cowbird was nearby watching the cardinal mom feeding the baby. Click on pictures to enlarge.