musings of a gay couple living in the Great White North
Tag Archives: chicks
Trio of male brown-headed cowbirds
Three male brown-headed cowbirds perched in the treetops next to the Rideau River, June 30, 2013. The brown-headed cowbird is unusual in that it practices nest parasitism. Cowbirds do not rear their own young. The female lays an egg in another bird’s nest and the cowbird chick hatches and is reared by the other birds. It pushes the chicks of the host birds out of the nest so it does not compete for food. Some species of songbird have adapted to this threat in building dummy nests to lure the cowbird to leave its eggs, leaving them free to rear their own broods.
Eastern kingbird viewed while out for a run with Hera, my friend Jason Quinn and his dog Nos, June 17, 2013. The eastern kingbird is a plucky species of flycatcher common in the area. I see a few mated pairs every spring nesting in shrubs along the Rideau River. They are usually successful at rearing their broods as they mount a spirited defense of their nest and young, driving away crows especially. The often perch on the wires in the background, watching for the insects on which they prey, snatching them out of the air.
On my daily training runs with Hera I found a red-wing blackbird’s nest in the reeds at the edge of a pond in the spot near the Rideau River where I run her. I am keeping an eye on the nest, taking care not to disturb the birds, and in due course saw that four chicks were hatched. I used my camcorder to capture some candid footage of the mother blackbird feeding her chicks.
Red-winged blackbird nest in the cattails in a pond next to the Rideau River, May 2, 2013. I will keep an eye on this nest over the next several weeks, from a safe distance, to see how the blackbirds make out in their effort to raise a brood of chicks.