The little fledgelings are starting to move further from the nest. There are times when the mother seems to be guiding them deeper into the cattails if she notices people around, but for the most part, she is still primarily extremely busy catching food for all her babies – those hopping around the marsh and beginning to stretch their wings, as well as those still in the nest. I had originally seen 3 in the nest, but I think more eggs hatched. The nest itself has become much more obscured by the new growth coming in, so it’s difficult to do a count, but there is more than one.
I love this little segment. The baby is contentedly sitting on vegetation, jumps to attention when mom comes by to give it a quick snack, then goes back to serenely meditating amid the cattails, waiting for her to return.
When shooting scenes like these, respect the critters. I noticed the fledgling and I know that mom will not feed if she thinks I’m watching or am too close. So…I waited at a distance for her to leave, set up the camera, hit record, then sat nearby with my back to the baby. The birds are comfortable with folk walking along the boardwalk, and will tolerate folk on benches looking out to the water, but will change their behaviour when a human stops and is looking their way. Don’t be the reason a hungry baby bird goes hungry or mom wastes energy trying to distract or avoid you.