Saturday, August 10, 2013

Youngsters at the Feeders

This week has been marked by a delightful series of visits of young blue jays, orioles, downy woodpeckers and house finches to our feeders. Sometimes their first-year plumage identifies them (the palest orange tinge of the juvenile female oriole, or the red patch on top of the downy woodpecker's head), but for most there is also a clean, fresh look about them and sometimes a charming cluelessness. And sometimes their sheer numbers are the tip-off. The blue jays that used to come one or two at a time now often arrive as a family of five, and the house finches mob the hopper feeder in a constant battle for the best spots.

Young blue jay eating suet

Juvenile female Baltimore oriole on hummingbird feeder

Downy woodpecker - juvenile has red on top of head

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