This has indeed been a strange summer for bird watching at Canadian Hill Farm. About a month ago a Red-headed Woodpecker turned up at my feeder. This was the first one I have seen in 45 years of living on the Farm.
Just before the 4th of July I noticed an American Robin building a nest under my deck. I assumed she was getting ready for the second batch of babies for the summer. I was gone for the next week. When I returned, the following week, I noticed that the nest was finished but didn’t really pay much attention. Later in the week I stopped to look in the nest and found two fledglings. One of them flew out of the nest when I approached. I backed off. The next day the nest was empty. I’m still trying to figure out how a robin can build a nest and fledge the babies in two weeks? The only thing I can think of is something happened to the first nest and she built another nest for the fledglings.
This past week I notice a fledgling sitting on my bird perch by the feeders. It was a bird I didn’t recognize. It was about the size of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the color of a female Grosbeak. It would just sit there and made no attempt to feed at the feeder. Subsequently I noticed it several more times sitting in the same place. I took some photos but wasn’t able to figure out what it was.
Yesterday I noticed it again and this time there were several Grosbeaks at the feeder so when the fledgling started fluttering its wings wanting to be fed I figured a Grosbeak would feed it.
All of a sudden a small bird flew up from the ground and fed it. Turned out the mother was a song sparrow and the fledgling was a Brown-headed Cowbird. The poor little Song Sparrow thought the Cowbird was its baby. This is the first time I’ve seen this happen at the feeders.
Never a dull moment when watching birds.