Fledgling season is here: newby birds, feathers ready for some facet of flight, are out of the nest and onto branches, and sometimes, also on the ground. This juvenile Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, is, well, smack in his awkward teenage weeks. Splotchy and skinny, he’s hanging out with dad, learning where the best feeders and bird baths are located and how to hide in trees and shrubs. Dad is quite good looking, but his good looks only serve to emphasized junior’s lack thereof.
This isn’t a recent pic of dad; he posed for this pic in late winter, plumage pulchritude on full display, brightening the dull landscape. Dad Cardinal is a pretty bird, his cardinal colors pop in any garden spot. His song, equally as beautiful.
Mom is pretty too, though not quite the head-turner as her mate. Her soft, creamy-like tan and grey feathers, accented with bits of blush at her crest and on her tail, plus her stylish orange-red beak, lend an elegance that appeals to her admirers.
Poor junior. He’ll need to wait, just a bit longer, to tap into his gorgeous genes.
He will be a pretty guy some day, just like dear ole dad,
…but today is not that day.
I’m joining with Anna at Flutter and Hum and her Wednesday Vignette. Mosey on over for garden stories and pretty birds…or not.