I just love this time of year - baby birds frantically following their parents, wings aflutter, mouths agape, and those exhausted parents flitting around on the ground, in the trees, at the feeders - anywhere they can find a good food source for their young. This is a time those in our home anxiously await. Even one of our dogs participates as we help the birds in our yard prepare for the annual ritual of nest-making. Contributing his shedding hair to an empty hanging basket, the chickadees and other birds happily use the basket full of his hair much like we might use our local "Lowes" or "Home Depot". And then we patiently await the newborns' arrivals....
Finally, our patience pays off: the little ones arrive. We haven't had a chance to spy any actual nests and eggs. But our yard comes alive with the newly-fledged once they bravely leave their nests, eagerly following their parents around the yard. The young are often so awkward - I just love watching all of their "newborn" behaviors as they explore their new world. Right now, we have new Chickadees, new Lesser Goldfinches, and just this weekend we noticed a new Wren chick with its parent. We also have numerous juvenile Dark-eyed Juncos amongst them, scavenging for food, often arguing with one another like typical siblings. They're likely from the same brood - all showing up at the same time in the season, and generally all using the yard for seed-searching at the same time. I always stop and watch in amazement the hard-working parents. It can't be easy being a bird parent - like any animal or human parent, for that matter. It's a lot of responsibility and a lot of hard work. I'm grateful for the opportunity to live in harmony with all of these beautiful birds and their young as they begin their new lives. With gratitude to all of these hard-working parents as they bring new life into the world - contributing to the chorus of nature I'm so grateful to be able to enjoy.....
Remember that this is the season of nesting, so be sure to do all of your tree trimming at a later time. You never know what birds may be using your trees and shrubs for their nesting needs. And as always, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator if you find a bird or newborn chick in need. Enjoy the season!!