24 September, 2011

Big Chipping Sparrow Baby

Chipping sparrows were frequent visitors to the feeders all during the summer.  
They are quite small, but very dapper with their chestnut cap and white stripe just across the upper eye.
Their high-pitched vocalizations have been the background noise all summer long. 
But all is not right in the chipping sparrow world ...
It has been fooled by the brownheaded cowbird into rearing the cowbird young.  The cowbird juvenile is screeching for its food so loudly that it startled the chickadee.
The parasitic brownheaded cowbird added its egg to the clutch laid by the chipping sparrow.  The resulting baby bird is accepted by the chipping sparrow as its own, resulting in the incongruous scene below.
"Feed me now!"  It is so much larger than its chipping sparrow "parent". 
"Hey.  Where did you go?"
Although the chipping sparrow adult didn't look rundown from all of its efforts to feed its big baby, the cost was in the loss of its own young for this season.  Other chipping sparrows were successful, though, and we saw many real families at the feeder.  They will be leaving soon for their winter home not too far to the south of us.
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  1. Looovely!
    have a nice sunday

  2. Great colour scheme that Chipping Sparrow has got Wilma.

  3. He's certainly got a handsome cap.

  4. That's simply life! But it gave you the occasion to realise this nice set of pictures which is beautiful! Well done Wilma. By the way, this chiping sparrow would be a nice addition to my birdlist ;-)

  5. Matteo - thank you and welcome to my blog.

    Roy - I agree.

    Keith - dashing, I think.

    Chris - thanks. You are correct - bad for the sparrow, good for the cowbird.

    thanks for visiting and commenting.


  6. Hi Wilma, yes it's a non-breeding female Indigo bunting. Hope you get to see them in Belize also.

    Best wishes

    Paul Pickering


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