Birds Are Fledgin' Out All Over

Young chickadees are invading the feeders at Mr. Neil's house. If you look closely at this photo, you can see a little yellow where this young chickadee's bill connects with it's face. The remnants of the gape young chickadees have to help stimulate their parents to feed them. This young chickadee was figuring out how to hold a peanut between its toes and then peck out bite sized pieces. The adult chickadees are now ignoring the young birds crying for food and eating themselves. The ravenous young birds are following what they see the parent birds do and learning how to use the feeding stations. Once they figure out how to grab peanuts from the mesh feeder and sunflower seeds from the tube feeders, they explore further for food. This young bird is contemplating the eye hole on this decorative bird on top of the feeder pole. It is asking itself, "Can I eat this?"

"Let's find out!" PECK! The young bird pecked and prodded the eye hole a few times and then gave up. It was fun watching the young chickadees trying out new things. One intrepid youngster flew to the hummingbird feeder and ate the ants trying to get past the ant moat.

The young chickadees were looking fresh and well feathered.

The adults, well, they were looking a little rough. I'm sure it's a combination of the nonstop work of nesting and it's time for a summer molt (dropping those old feathers and growing in new ones).

Young titmice were also learning to feed too. The adults kept going to the peanut/sunflower feeder over and over again while the young birds begged in the tree. Eventually, one impatient young bird followed the adult to the feeder and continued to beg. As the adult continued to feed only itself, the young bird finally got the idea that it had to dig out it's own peanut or sunflower.

As the young bird finally mastered the feeders, it seemed triumphant in its discovery. "I am king of the peanuts, master of all the feeders I survey!"

I found another grosbeak photo and I'm just throwing this in to the entry to add a little color.