[CT Birds] Cardinal feeding baby Catbird

Sally Brown sbrown01 at snet.net
Sat Jun 20 07:30:37 EDT 2015

Yesterday under my feeder I saw a Cardinal male feeding a baby Catbird safflower seed (the only seed I have in the summer).  Later the baby Catbird was at the feeder with a seed in its mouth trying to eat it.  But it isn’t a seed-eating bird.  It only knows what its parents (cardinals) taught it.  I wonder if its genetic coding will override its conditioning and it will search for ants, caterpillars, etc.  

And I didn’t know that Catbirds were capable of brood parasitism. All spring a Catbird (or two) came to my feeders with sunflower hearts.  

I’m pretty sure it’s a Catbird baby as it already has the faint marking of the black head cap.  I’ve seen baby Cowbirds before in my yard being raised by a Cardinal or a Carolina Wren.  


Sally Brown
Branford, CT

More information about the CTBirds mailing list