About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fledglings Make Family Life Fun

I came home last night and watched a juvenile Blue Jay, Cardinal, Downey Woodpecker and Starling all try to figure out how a feeder worked and what they were supposed to do with the food in front of them. It reminded me that this summer, parents across the country will spend countless hours with their children, taking them to places they’ve never seen before...like the bird feeders in your yard.

This is the time of year when fledglings leave the nest and are taught how to forage for food by their parents. It's a fascinating interaction that is fun to observe.

The fledglings follow their parents and either wait quietly or call incessantly and flutter their wings until fed. After one to three weeks, the parents will stop feeding their fledglings and may even peck at them if they persist in begging for food. Even birds have dysfunctional families.

You can make your backyard "bird family-friendly" by continuing to offer high-protein bird foods, such as WBU No-mess blend seed, Nyjer® (thistle), peanuts, suet and mealworms. These energy-packed foods will entice birds and their young back to your feeders so you can watch them up close.

2 comments:

cindyzlogic said...

Cute post! I especially enjoyed the end of the video when the wind is blowing through the fledgling's head feathers :-)

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

I like that part too! Poor baby. It's like the old saying goes ugly in the cradle, beauty at the table.

Cardinals are one of the most sought after backyard birds in our area because they're so handsome. A lot of customers are shocked by how dissimilar the babies look to the parents at first.