Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Juveniles... but not Delinquents

As I've written before, we didn't have plans to be in Texas all summer.  We hadn't made any real plans at all except head to New Mexico, Colorado and other cooler places.  Bill's broken ankle changed what plans we had and we figured it best to stay here close to the doctor and the medical facilities we're familiar with.  It's funny how things like that work out....  if we had left, we would have missed our daily sightings of the Painted Buntings and the Black-chinned Hummingbirds.

And now we are further rewarded by watching their fledglings come to our feeders....
The cardinals no longer depend on their parents to feed them.   They are coming to the feeders now.  It was funny to watch the baby birds hover around their parent just waiting for a morsel of food to be dropped in their mouth.  Now they easily feed themselves.  This juvenile will eventually be bright red.  Even his bill, which is dark as a young bird will turn red.

Another youngster..  they often come in family groups but are quite able to be on their own.

 This juvenile Black-chinned hummingbird has a purple feather or two growing on his throat.  As he matures his entire throat will be dark.

 Another youngster....
Immatures resemble adult females so a person has to look closely.  We've been watching these birds every day and there are a few I have come to recognize...  a wayward feather; a lighter spot on the wing...  little things that kind of distinguish them from each other.  I'll readily admit that there are only a couple I "know".  But observing them daily has made recognizing the young ones somewhat easier.

And, of course, my favorite bird of the summer...
 It's funny to see how muted the colors of his feathers are...
He kind of looks like he's dressed in camouflage for his foraging expedition.

But...  soon he'll be as colorful as his dad...
 If I'm lucky, sometimes the sun hits just right on the back, making the Painted Bunting just glow!

These aren't the only young birds we are seeing...  I know the chickadees and titmice have young...  and the house finch population seemed to multiply overnight.  

Had we moved on we would have missed seeing all this "next generation" of birds...  right outside our window.  

We'll be here about 3 more weeks, then head on.
Who knows what other wonderful sights we'll see before we leave?

That's All For Today!


  1. I'm having more business at my hummingbird feeder now than I've had in the last three months. Morning birdsong has about ended for the year. It's eerily quiet outside.

  2. What wonderful sights. The Painted Bunting is stunning.

  3. I can see why the painted bunting is your favorite bird. You're so lucky to have a front row seat to the little family!

  4. We've been watching our baby ospreys learning to fly and catch fish. Absolutely fascinating. Your babies are growing up so fast - being able to balance on the feeder and figure out how to get food out of it. And next year they will be teaching their young. Love it.

  5. Great photos - I love seeing pictures of the babies. :)

  6. I really love your photos; they're spectacular. About your change in plans due to the injury ..... Life is full of unexpected changes. It's how we handle the alterations and changes that determines whether the life will be fun and rewarding - or sad and non-fulfilling. You're definitely the former. Keep on truckin'

  7. Well ditto all the above ... love seeing pictures of the babies...

  8. You have made me fall in love with the painted bunting. Maybe someday I will get to see one in person. Love the pictures.

  9. Those Painted Buntings are just amazing! God sure put a lot of wonderful creatures on this earth for our viewing pleasure, didn't he? Would love to see one of those land on my birdbath someday.