by Susanne Fahnemann
(Wilmington, NC, USA)
I have a small bird nesting in a folding chair on my covered porch. The parents have gotten used to us AND our two dogs; they even hop into the living room and the dogs just watch but leave them alone.
About 10 days ago one of the parents flew to the nest and back out and drooped a tiny half egg shell. So we were happy that we had a bird family now.
Just a few days later we had a tropical storm and the next morning I saw a pretty roughed up bird sitting awkwardly on the side of the folded chair. I became worried that one of the parents was sitting there "sad" about her drowned children. It looked different but I thought that was due to the rough night. When I sat down on the porch thinking what I could possibly do to help her, the mother (or father, they both feed the little ones) came flying in and fed that fat baby. Like I said this was only a few days after I found that egg shell.
I was stunned; the baby so much bigger than either one of the parents? The next day that baby left the nest but the parents are still feeding and I hear bird voices coming out of the nest (it is covered so I can't look inside).
In Europe there is a bird called a cuckoo that is too lazy to build nests and take care of their youngsters. They lay their eggs in other people's nests and let them do the work.
Now everybody in Europe I sent those pictures to agrees that the baby looks like a cuckoo. But officially there is no cuckoo in North America (I live in Wilmington NC).
Can anyone identify him and/or the parents?
P.S.: I uploaded 2 pictures, one was of the mother feeding, but the page only came up with this one. I guess I'm doing something wrong but I will try to upload the mother again so please search for her. It's pretty interesting that she is smaller than her "baby".