The Northern Cardinal population in our front yard has grown considerably this summer. There are at least a dozen or so juveniles that frequently visit our bird feeders. As soon as fledglings could fly well enough to follow their parents, they began showing up at our feeders. The young ones often perched on the edge of feeders, shepard hooks and tree branches where they rapidly flapped their wings and constantly called out to their parent.
The parent Cardinals feed their fledglings for a couple of weeks out of the nest, then wean them. For a few days, the youngsters continue to follow their parents and beg for food but their behavior is largely ignored. I've observed that young birds are quite pushy and demanding, much like our human 2-year olds ;) Sometimes, the bird parent decides it has had enough and flies off, leaving the youngster behind.
It's been an enjoyable experience to witness all these fledglings being cared for and growing. They are funny at times, particularly when they first learn to fly because they're so clumsy. Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many varieties of birds and bird families. I've truly learned a lot about them from my observations.
“What is important is not what you hear said, it's what you observe.”
― Michael Connelly, Trunk Music