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Old August 11th, 2011, 05:15 PM
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Strange happening..

One day hubs told me he thought he saw a Sparrow feeding a young Cardinal.
I did not believe it,until I saw it myself,the young Cardinal is always with the Sparrow and I've seen how the Sparrow gets seed at the feeder and feeds it to the Cardinal,twice his size.
If I get a chance,I'll try to get a picture.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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Are you sure it's a young cardinal and not a young cowbird? Both youngsters would be brown, but the cowbird wouldn't have the crest that the cardinal has...

I'd love to see a pic of that! Especially if it turns out to be a cardinal baby!!
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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I have to ask. Why are they called cowbirds? If it's a cardinal or the other would a sparrow's diet be okay for it?I really hope you get a photo, Chico.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:37 PM
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They call them cowbirds because they were originally a plains bird that followed the buffalo (and later, herds of cattle) as they grazed. The cattle put up insects that the birds ate, and they'd be constantly on the move to keep up with the herds. This led to them becoming nest parasites--they lay their eggs in smaller birds' nests and let the smaller birds raise the cowbird young. Rather a nasty development but successful for the cowbirds. Eventually, with roads and farms and the clearing of forest areas, cowbirds spread into areas (like the forests around here) where they'd never been able to reach before and they're causing quite an impact on some of the small forest birds that haven't evolved to combat the cowbird's nesting strategy. Since most baby birds are fed insects, almost any host will do--but the smaller (within reason) the host, the better, since (among other things) it allows the cowbird baby to out-compete the host's young for food when the adults come with supper....
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Old August 11th, 2011, 09:09 PM
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Oh, that's so not nice, Hazel. Fingers crossed that it's a Cardinal baby then.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Here's a pic..

Hubby called me and said the Cardinal-baby and the Sparrow was on the fence,unfortunately the Sparrow moved just as I took the pic.
Not a good one,since I had no time to really focus,you can see part of the Sparrow on the right side.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 09:05 PM
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Good little sparrow mom. 'Her' baby is gorgeous. Keep trying please, Chico, I have no idea of the Cardinal's size. Is it already bigger than the sparrow, or not?
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Old August 14th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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Definitely a cardinal, not a cowbird! How cool is that!! Are there cardinals feeding the baby, too, or just a sparrow? Lucky baby having such a diligent foster parent!

Do you know what kind of sparrow is feeding it?
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Old August 14th, 2011, 09:53 AM
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Hazel,it's a female Sparrow for sure,but what kind I don't know,she's about half the size of the Cardinal.
I am carrying my camera around,hoping to catch her feeding the C.
It's such a quick happening,the Sparrow goes to the feeder,the Cardinal fluttering her wings and it takes maybe a second before the Sparrow is off again.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Chico????? If you're anything like me, you'll prove your point and catch them in the act!

That's pretty cool to be able to observe 2 different species feeding from another.

I've seen squirrels and robins on my oriole feeder but never at the same time let along, feeding each other.

Perseverance prevails!
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Old August 15th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Wow! Amazing to see that. And it really is a baby cardinal not the cowbird i was afraid it was going to turn out to be, the crest gives it away.
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