Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Bees and the Birds

No worries, this is not a "birds and the bees" post.  I changed the order for a reason.

Neighbouring two sides of our place is church property. On one side is a parking lot on which our kids are all one by one learning to trust that two wheels will in fact hold them up. Behind us is a very beautiful garden full of flowering perennials and trees.  We get to enjoy the benefit of the view with someone else maintaining it. There is always lots of  bird activity, and although mostly of the common kind, it's still fun on a Sunday afternoon when the rain stops and the sun peeps out to see what is there to see. I had noticed lately a pair of Cardinals persistently perching and singing and frequently giving off their "tink" alarm calls. It seemed very likely that there was a nest in the area. Until a couple days ago, my search had not been successful. I found it in a standard of some sort in the middle of the garden with only one young one in the nest.  

View of the gardens from our backyard (quickly snapped on my new phone)

But, since the order of my post title was purposely switched, I have to show some bumblebee pictures first. This bumblebee is loaded with pollen.  In the first picture you can see the pollen flying off it in the air as it had just "settled" down on this location.

Bumblebee laden with pollen - you can see the pollen in the air above

Bumblebee on Greater Meadow Rue

When I got back out on Sunday to try and capture a picture or two of the Carndinal chicks in the nest, they were no longer there.  I followed the high pitched peeps, and finally located two fledglings in the near by trees and cedar hedge.  They were already flying quite well and seemed to be confident in their ability to wing away, letting me get pretty close before putting some distance between us.

Fledgling Cardinal in Linden Tree
"What YOU lookin' at?"

Cardinal Fledgling in Cedar Hedge

Fledgling Cardinal
(you can see the ear openings just behind and below the eye)

Here are the parents, who surprisingly, were not very agitated by my presence, allowing me to get some pictures without feeling too guilty about stressing the little family out very much.

female Cardinal in rose bush

male Cardinal in Redbud Tree


  1. Jordan says: Nice bumble bee pictures, Dad! And I love all your pictures.
    Andrew says: Good pictures, Dad! Hope you get some other good ones!
    Mommy says: I love the baby Cardinal pictures! (now the boys add that they also love them. : ))

  2. You weren't kidding!! That bee is loaded with pollen! Great shots! I am surprised by the fledgling...still missing feathers! I have never seen one so young out of the nest. Your persistence paid off :)


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