Photo of Male Cardinal Feeding Fledging

Photographing Birds That Have Flown the Nest – Part 1

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So Many Fledglings To Photograph

It all progresses pretty fast in the bird world (and ours)  … mating, nesting, (2 or 3 times) – and then migration comes around again.

This time of year, the parents are looking haggard and spent…. but they keep at it, even feeding the fledglings who are as big as they are. (Is it possible that these birds are doing double duty….. feeding the begging fledgings while at the same time gathering food for the nestlings?)

Photo of Fledging Red Bellied Woodpecker
Fledging Red Bellied Woodpecker
Nestled near a Tree Trunk, Looking for a Parent.
ISO4000; f/5.6; 1/400 Second
Photo of Immature Cardinal
Immature Cardinal- Black Beak Instead of Red.
ISO1600; f/4; 1/640 Second

Flown the Nest

A fledgling is a young bird who has grown enough to acquire its initial flight feathers and has flown out of the nest. They look babyish and are unsure in flight. Inexperience and immature feathers make them especially awkward when taking off and landing.

There are lots of fledglings of many different species to photograph in our yard. Young birds fledge as soon as 7-11 days after hatching. These curious young birds have not yet learned to feed themselves. They look so new, so vulnerable as they ignore the camera (and potential predators) and follow their parents around begging for food. It takes them a couple weeks before they can fly confidently and acquire food without parental help.

Photo of Two Fledging Baltimore Orioles
A line of Two Fledgling Baltimore Orioles,
Waiting to be Fed by Male Parent.
ISO1600; f/4; 1/640 Second
Photo of Male Cardinal Feeding Fledging
Male Cardinal Feeding his Fledging.
ISO2000; f/4; 1/640 Second

The light is not optimal in my heavily shaded yard, but I will continue photographing the newbies as they struggle to become independent.

Until next week…….

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