Came home for lunch today and found this little buddy at the base of a tree crying. It's a baby cardinal and the parents were flying around calling to it.
At first I freaked out because I thought it had fallen out of a nest, but after looking for some time I still couldn't find one. Turns out, it's a fledgeling and that cardinals typically fledge like this and stay on the ground for up to 2 weeks while the parents feed it and it learns to fly??
Who knew? I guess what I thought was a cardinal fledgeling with full feathers was actually a juvenile?
I picked it up off the ground and put it in a tree, where the parents seemed happy to have their baby back. By the time I got home it had jumped onto the ground out of its own volition. I watched it run across the ground with the parents still calling out to it. Looks pretty healthy to me! As of now it's run around the side of our building and found shelter inside a thick bush where I hope the neighbors' cats and dogs won't be able to touch it.
I went home afterward and told my budgies how lucky they are. They get all the toys and treats while other birds have to sleep in a bush.... Kiwi promptly jumped on my shoulder and bit my neck lol
Aww, the little one seems to be quite lively!
While they don't have the toys like our pet birds do, wild birds still have fun and can also play. The thinner tree branches make good swings for them, I also see juvenile sparrows (clutch siblings most likely) and other small wild birds playing around with each other either on the ground or even during mid flight.
I know right? He is super cute! My friend said he was ugly but cute... sort of like a pug? lol
I was curious to see if he was still in the same place today, I didn't see him but his parents were around doing some "guarding behaviors." So I guess they moved him but he's still nearby.
Today, the bush I left him in yesterday had a new occupant. Came face to face with an angry chipmunk who gave me the scolding of my life lol
so many squeaks.... >_>
EDIT: Just kidding! Came out of my house after lunch and found him under the same tree he "fell" out of yesterday. Not going to lie guys, I will probably end up stalking this little chick for the next two weeks just to watch him finally fly
Here's a picture of Dad who didn't let me get very close... tried to take a picture of mom but she was too fast for me!
What a poor fella... I hope the parents have some that survive next season. After this happened I did some reading, apparently songbirds have 30% chick survival rates by design so that they don't overtax their habitats.
It's just sad the suffering of animals lower on the food chain is built into nature