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Northern Cardinal (Adult Female Feeding Cowbird Fledglings)

Cardinalis cardinalis

Description:

Series: I was sharing some of my sunflower seeds with a chipmunk when this female Northern Cardinal showed up with two Brown-headed Cowbird fledglings who she is apparently raising (see my Brood Parasitism / Mafia Cowbird link). Although there were more than enough seeds on the ground for everyone, only the Cardinal was grabbing them. The fledglings would just step over the seeds while following her around waiting for her to pick one up. And then when she would, they'd chase after her yelping for her to feed them. Although she would always give in and feed them herself, she did seem to resist for a minute or two before doing so. This short amount of hesitation was probably her way of saying, it's now time you start fending for yourselves.

Habitat:

Woodland Trail

Notes:

An Interesting National Geographic Article about Mafia Cowbirds. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...

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5 Comments

Joseph R. Godreau
Joseph R. Godreau 3 years ago

Thank You.

AshleyT
AshleyT 3 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Hema
Hema 3 years ago

Here is an example of a towhee raising cowbird chicks
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/372...
Cowbirds are really mafia like.

AshleyT
AshleyT 3 years ago

Not sure if you knew this, but those are brown-headed cowbird fledglings and not cardinals. Usually only see them lay one egg in another species nest though!

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 3 years ago

Great shots and spotting!

Joseph R. Godreau
Spotted by
Joseph R. Godreau

Michigan, USA

Lat: 42.19, Long: -84.16

Spotted on Jun 10, 2016
Submitted on Jun 26, 2016

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