While eating my breakfast, I had the pleasure of watching our female cardinal feeding her large and ungainly child on the railing of the large deck. She was poking meats from safflower seeds into its eager mouth.
By the time I'd fetched my camera, both birds had moved to the feeder. Mother bird was eating her own breakfast. Clearly she intended to instill self-sufficiency into her big baby, who was perched rather helplessly on top of the feeder wondering what it was supposed to be doing.
True to my usual hasty, messy fashion of feeder-filling, I'd left some spilled seed on the top of the feeder...little guessing how important it would become.
Baby feeds itself for the very first time.
Confident of its survival skills, it proudly raises its crest.
It might be funny-looking now, but I'm quite sure it will grow up to be as beautiful as its parents.
While we've got cardinals aplenty in our area we've only the one pair on our property. They settled here two and a half years ago. We're thrilled that they produced two broods this summer.