As I prowled along the south shore of Lake Apopka, I heard tiny cries and traced them to a small nest in the cat tails. It was a Red-winged Blackbird nest with three small babies. Their wide-open orange beaks seemed be the biggest parts of their bodies!
Mom flew in to the nesting area, provoking much excitement in the babies. Naps were abandoned as the babies clamored for food!
Mom worked herself ragged that morning, flying off to catch bugs and then returning to the nest to place the bugs in the babies’ mouths. I’m not sure how she kept track of who had already been fed. You certainly couldn’t tell the difference based on the level of begging.
Time and time again she flew in. I wished there were slightly fewer reeds in between me and the nest.
After one of Mom’s visits, there was an extraordinary amount of wing-flapping. One baby emerged from the nest and fumbled his way to a nearby branch. If I’m not mistaken, that was his first time leaving the nest.
The other two babies left in the nest looked up at him in wonder.
“Well, if my big brother can do it, so I can I!” said one of the remaining babies. The next time Mom visited, we had a second escape artist.
Mom looked to me as if to say, “yeah, life just got a lot harder!”
The fledglings seemed a little surprised and somewhere in awe of their newfound powers of mobility. I chuckled as I left this little family, knowing that the babies will be grown and flying in no time!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?
Check out my Lake Apopka page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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