Saturday, May 30, 2009

Paternal care

Daddy is feeding his babies, hard work since one is way up a tree yards away from the other who's setting in the dense bushes, same bushes shared with nesting cardinals. Papa brought worms to Baby #1, not bread like the day before. Baby #2 was more accessible for pictures, so I watched on and off during the day. It was a challenge, because there was only one small gap in the bushes for viewing and the dappled lighting made it hard to control contrast. There was no shifting position for a better angle. Shifting meant no view. Rembrandt light and shadow. This baby looks like an infant when sitting quietly, but at feeding time you see the adult-to-be. The papa flies into the bushes from several approaches, from the east, from the north, never a direct approach to avoid any peril to this fledgling. The worms usually go down faster than the camera can capture, less than one second, down-the-hatch. Before feeding the bird calls, "Cheep cheep!", which means, "Feed me!" After feeding the baby repeats, "Cheep cheep", which sounds like, "Thank you". Or maybe it's "Feed me!" again.

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