Sunday, July 31, 2011
The last two mornings we have been birding at the Elkton Community Education Center, and we have observed a large number of juvenile birds. It’s that time of year when most of the birds have hatched, but the juveniles are still hanging around close by. Because their plumage is quite often different than the plumage they will have as an adult, it sometimes is challenging to make identification. One of the identifying clues that we have begun to pick-up on is their odd behavior. Although in most cases they are the same size as their parents, they are not out forging on their own yet. They can be seen hanging around the nesting area, waiting, even demanding to be fed. In fact, they usually act a pretty goofy. This juvenile Red-winged Blackbird in the photo is one of four we spotted in a Douglas Fir this morning. They hadn’t seemed to have figured out yet about predators. They seemed content to goof off in the tree and were more concerned about preening their feathers than gainfully being employed in searching out their own food. Remind you of any teen-agers you might know or have known?