Tons of finches, of course, but some not-finches are appearing on and around the feeder. Doves, cardinals, and something sparrowlike I'm calling a LIttle Brown Job for now.

With bonus brood parasite!

Doves! A pair of these hang around the feeder, mournfully eyeing it as they can't fit in. They also like sitting and pooping on the railing around the deck.

Mom was calling them mourning doves, but I did some poking about, and they look a hell of a lot more like white-wing doves than mourning doves.

And here's the little brown job! About the same size or slightly smaller than the finches.

Mama cardinal!

And Papa Cardinal, followed around by a darling little brood parasite begging for food, which CANNOT be a baby cardinal because the coloring and beak shape are totally different. I'm going with brown-headed cowbird until I learn otherwise because that's the most common brood parasite in the US.

For those who don't know, brood parasites like cuckoos and cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds' nests. Either the mama parasite knocks the existing eggs out of the nest or the chick hatches a wee bit sooner and grows a wee bit faster and outcompetes the existing chicks, sometimes knocking them out of the nest.

And a better look at our little cowbird.

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Tags: backyard, finches
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