Male cardinals are one of the most devoted avian dads.
Both male and female cardinals care for their nestlings, but the male contributes more food.
When the babies fledge, the male feeds and cares for them while the female goes off to start a new nest to raise another brood.
It’s exciting to see beautiful bird families all around us. But, if you encounter fledglings in some of the most peculiar places, resist assisting a fluffy “baby” bird that looks abandoned.
Leave the birds where they are, in the care of their parents. Even if you don’t see a parent, it’s not too far away.
Some birds regularly depart before being able to fly and are capable of hiding themselves from predators.
Removing a fledgling from the wild cuts its chances of long-term survival to a small fraction and should only be done as a last resort.
Unless a fledgling is in imminent danger, do not rescue it because parents usually coax the baby to fly.
But chase off backyard predators such as dogs and cats. Or if you find the bird on a busy path, road, or other potentially dangerous location. Then it makes sense to pick it up and move it a short distance to a safer place.
But make sure you put it down within hearing reach of where it was found so its parents can see it.