As promised, here is a little update on the home crowd, inside and out.
Below is an early group shot of three of the five new Zebra Finch fledglings, with what I can probably assume is their mother on the left. Since I have not yet had a chance to name them, they remain First Bird, Third Bird, and Second Bird. Second Bird on the end is the most “normal” looking and will probably be difficult to distinguish once he/she reaches adulthood. But I am having fun keeping track of what markings survive the transition.
Below is a little video of First Bird being fed by his dad a couple weeks ago.
He started growing up rapidly. See how different he looks below. And immediately as he started to acquire adult plumage, he started trying to sing. You can hear his attempts in the video below – it’s the squishy little babbling sounds he’s making. He will be working on a song for a long, long time. With any luck I will be able to keep track of his progress.
Below, left, is Third Bird – I am sure she is a “she.” She has her dad wrapped around her little beak – she should be feeding herself by now, but she still begs for food even after trying out some food on her own, and her dad, being new at all of this, doesn’t seem to quite know how to say no.
Below in the second photo, I think the birds are Fifth Bird in front, with Second and First Bird toward the back of the photo.
Moving out to the yard one day, I managed to take some photographs in the snow.
At first it seemed all I would be able to do is capture the cardinals through the back porch windows, which makes for a blurry situation.
Then I did manage to go out a couple times without scaring everyone away. Three of the seven or eight Mourning Doves I have seen in the yard lately were happy to sit still when they knew I couldn’t get a good photo of them.
I don’t seem to get as many House Finches as I used to. In any event, the pair below were just barely visible from the back steps.
The woodpeckers tend to show up less often when the horde of House Sparrows is present.
I did finally manage to capture one of the male Northern Cardinals that frequent the yard.
Since these photos were taken, all last month, we had more snow and it has now all melted away.
I have heard cardinals singing the last few mornings, confirming that the days are getting longer. In spite of all the sameness and slowness of winter birds, I have come across a few surprises lately. I hope to be back with them soon.
As a sad postscript to this post, I am sorry to report that First Bird sailed right over my head and out the front door yesterday morning as I was leaving. He flew across the street and beyond, never to be seen again. I am quite confident he will not survive. I did wake up praying for an unlikely miracle this morning – that I might at least see him one more time – but more realistically, I suspect he is gone. We have had rain overnight and off and on all day, which is going to turn into snow later. Nothing even a precocious young Zebra Finch can handle. I miss his attempts at singing, and hope that I have another young male in development, though it is too early to tell. I haven’t lost a bird to the outside for years. I will have to be much more careful going in and out with youngsters around. But he was moving so fast and was so determined, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he had been planning his escape for days.