What’s the Matter with Kids Today?


Several times in recent years, WC has seen juvenile birds demonstrating that human kids aren’t the only juveniles who are sometimes dumb as bricks.

Hatch year Common Redpoll in late spring snow, Fairbanks, Alaska

Hatch year Common Redpoll in late spring snow, Fairbanks, Alaska

Here’s a juvenile hatch year Common Redpoll. It is literally surrounded by seeds, and clearly well fed, but it is begging for food. It wants food from its parent.

Mew Gull juvenile, Chen River, Fairbanks

Mew Gull juvenile, Chen River, Fairbanks

This is a young Mew Gull. Folks had been feeding ducks all winter along this stretch of the Chena River, and there was food all around it. But it was ignoring the food and squawking for its parents to feed it.

Hairy Woodpecker juvenile being fed by parent, Fairbanks, Alaska

Hairy Woodpecker juvenile being fed by parent, Fairbanks, Alaska

This young Hairy Woodpecker was standing immediately above a filled suet feeder, begging fo food from his father.

But don’t think dumb juveniles are confined to Alaska.

Black-headed Woodpecker juvenile, fed by parent, Idaho City, Idaho

Black-headed Woodpecker juvenile, fed by parent, Idaho City, Idaho

Here’s a White-headed Woodpecker at lower left being fed by his mother, from a suet feeder immediately above the mother bird. All these kids seem to be so fixated on food-comes-from-parent that they can’t seem to see where the parent gets the food.

There’s probably a really good political metaphor here. WC will leave it to his readers to figure it out.

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