Just Like Dear Ole Dad

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 CardinalCardinalis 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.  

21 thoughts on “Just Like Dear Ole Dad

  1. Aww, this made me laugh! So on point!

    I have some sad news regarding the hummingbird nest from a couple of weeks ago. The egg hatched alright – I only saw one small beak sticking up above the edge of the nest. Then, only a few days later, the nest was empty. I suspect either an owl (who sometimes hangs out in the Magnolia) or a crow. Either way, I was sad to note the demise of the young bird. Life can be so cruel… And no, I never got that perfect shot of it. 😦


  2. In time he’ll be just as handsome as his dad, just as you have written. So he was the only baby of the brood that made it this far? I haven’t had any youngsters thus far but there’s been a nice number of young chickadees and titmice coming to the feeder at my place. They are all so cute and don’t have the fear of humans just yet. I don’t think that serves them very well but after a few weeks I think they’ll be more wary.


  3. The first time I saw a cardinal at that teen-aged stage of life, I was sure it either was diseased or was molting. No — it only was an excellent example of avian awkwardness. I haven’t seen my pair’s youngsters yet, but I’m sure they’re around, since both parents are ground feeding at my place now, in the safety of the bushes.


    • Haha–the males especially, are just so sad looking. I’ve had fledgling House Sparrows and Starlings (Boo!), but also the Cardinals, at least one each Carolina Chickadee and Black-crested Titmouse, several House Finches. I’m just waiting now for the Blue jays. They’re always fun to watch!


  4. The male of the Northern Cardinal is a divine bird with its red color, I love it. The cardinal mother is a beautiful lady who coats in raucous colors and only wears a little blush on her chest, wings and crest, while dressing very elegant brown beige. The boy is wearing a faded suit. They will make him a new one for next year just like his father’s, red. While he’s looking a little clown adorable. They are a wonderful family, I love it. Tina thank you very much for the great photos. Take good care of yourself and your husband and be safe. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.


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