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Fledgling Season

At least for some birds, their young are out of the nest. Sometimes a young bird will leave the nest before it can fly, either by accident or on purpose (to escape nest parasites.) In such a situation, the parents get very nervous when large mammals (i.e. us) come lumbering by, and some will engage in what's called "distraction display" to try to lure us away from their vulnerable young. This is probably why those two towhees were so easily photographed! ("Easily" being a relative word, mind you. It still took a half hour's work to get unobstructed close-ups.)

I got a rather transparent distraction display this afternoon from a Winter Wren, one of the many breeding birds at South March Conservation Forest. As I approached, the normally furtive, mouselike adult wren twittered nonstop while perched in plain view. Its young, perhaps unwisely, got curious and hopped up on a log to look at me. It still had the colorful gape flanges of a nestling bird, so it probably couldn't fly yet, which explains its parent's dismay!

The adult continued to make a huge racket, so I followed it on down the trail. It led me down the proverbial garden path a bit, until it felt that I was far enough away, and then it clammed up and flew back to its young. The whole thing was very charming and definitely the high point of my hike.

Native Wildflowers Of Carp RidgeToo Perfect


Mustang Sallie
June 19th, 2013 at 10:43 am
I love the way you describe your birding experiences. It makes me feel like I was actually there!

June 19th, 2013 at 11:54 am
Sounds very cute!