It’s that time of year where a walk through the woods reveals babies everywhere.
I visited my favorite park early one morning after a night of rain.
The parking lot was virtually empty, and the birds were frantic for some breakfast.
Swarms of blackbirds and starlings swirled around me. The little birds tried to get some attention too.
They lined up on the railing for a chance to get something to eat.
The rose breasted grosbeak got first dibs. Just based on beauty. Plus he was pushy.
Even the mourning dove hopped over to get a treat. I’ve never had either the grosbeak or a dove land in my hand before.
Eventually everybody got something.
And then I went on down the trail
Where I quickly ran into this family out for a morning stroll. I first noticed an adult with a teenager almost as tall. Notice the teenager’s knees.
Then the other parent emerged from the trees to complete the family.
Once I edged carefully by them, which wasn’t easy because one of the parents was keeping an evil eye on me, I found a papa red bellied woodpecker. And his son.
To be accurate, I didn’t find him. He got my attention when he dive bombed me. Repeatedly.
He wasn’t interested in coming in for a treat. He flew right at me, did a touch down on my head and landed in a tree behind me. Then he came back and hit me in the head before landing back in the tree with his young one.
He did this over and over, as I continued to duck and weave and move on down the trail.
Eventually he picked up a bit of seed that I had flung behind me as a desperate distraction and perched on a broken branch to peck it open.
And then he fed it to his youngster who had been following all the excitement eagerly.
I crept away as they were eating.
Lots of little birds came in for a snack once I was away from the attacking woodpecker.
I enjoyed their visits in the quiet woods.
It was peaceful out there, not many people wandering the trails.
And then I heard a squealing and yelling headed in my direction.
The quiet of the woods was interrupted, but I was OK with that. Kids need to spend time outside too.
So I headed out to the rookery to see if any of the teenagers were still there.
Many of them were. I guess they’re planning on staying as long as mom and dad are willing to feed them.
I witnessed one parent arriving with something good to eat. The craziness is hard to sort out in pictures. And the noise was amazing.
Personally I think it’s time the folks kick the kids out. Most of them are flying from their nests to other branches, but come back to the nest for food.
None of the commotion appeared to distract the egret, just below, from continuing his grooming. Egrets move in when the herons leave the rookery. This guy was early I guess.
And then I left the park, stopping for a moment to check on the osprey nest where the youngsters were flexing their wings too.
Another good walk in the woods.
Babies everywhere, all growing up so fast.