Learnin’ the Ropes

Hot and humid here, like it is in a lot of places. But through all the “discomforts” of the weather, there is new life being breathed into our midsts. One of the things I have noticed the last few days is the number of new fledglings that are feeling their way in their newfound world. Over the past week, I have posted twice on a fledgling Prothonotary Warbler. Within the last few days, I have also been delighted to be able to watch some newly-fledged Tufted Titmice (or, is that Titmouses?) … and a single young Northern Cardinal get acquainted with their new surroundings, both accompanied by an adult. I am focusing on the Tufted Titmice (Parus bicolor) in this post.

While I was drifting in the kayak, the calm, quietness of the secluded area was suddenly disrupted by several Tufted Titmice. Straining through the dense vegetation, I then observed 2-3 fledglings, along with at least one adult in the nearby trees. As I watched the young ones, I focused in on one particular fledgling, who was desperately trying to get mom or dad’s attention … “Where’s breakfast?”:

Tufted Titmouse fledgling trying to get attention

It is so cute watching new fledglings trying to get attention from the parents! All of this twitting of the wings and constant “chirping” went to no avail … the parent bird was close, but busy working on a Cicada that he/she found on a tree branch. A short time later, the parent flew into a nearby dead tree snag and continued to work on the Cicada. This fledgling decided to move closer to the parent. But instead of continued “begging”, he settled in a nearby Buttonbush and began to work on removing a Bagworm from it’s encasement:

Tufted Titmouse fledgling with Bagworm

Hmmm, too much trouble getting to it from this angle. Maybe if I use my wings, I can get some leverage on it:

Tufted Titmouse with Bagworm

Hmmm, maybe another angle would be better:

Tufted Titmouse fledgling with Bagworm

This little guy finally finished his snack and flew off with the rest of the family. On the way home, I thought to myself, “Gee, wonder why the Tufted Titmice at my house don’t eat the Bagworms off our trees?” … I’m guessing the sunflower seeds are easier to get to! Anyway, it’s so much fun to watch the little fledglings learnin’ the ropes! :o)

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