July and August are the months to observe baby birds. Most birds have finished nesting by now.

There are some exceptions such as the American goldfinch and the cedar waxwing. They tend to be late nesters. Goldfinch, for example, like to use thistle down for lining their nest, but it isn't available until later in the summer. However, the American goldfinch will also use other natural nesting material that one can buy at any store that sells wild bird supplies. It is wise to hang the commercial balls of nest builder material on a hook or tree limb from June through mid-August. Cedar waxwings feed primarily on fruit, especially berries, which are generally not in great supply until near the end of July and in the month of August.

In general, birds will nest when their food supply and favorite nesting materials are readily available.

By now you should be seeing the babies of the early nesters, including the American robin, common raven, black-capped and chestnut-backed chickadees, dark-eyed junco, Canada goose, American coot and mallard. These are just a few of the babies that are now on parade. Some of these babies are shown in the photos on this page and online.

"Common Birds of the Long Beach Peninsula," by Kalbach and Stauffer, is available from the Chinook Observer, Bay Avenue Gallery, Time Enough Books and the Long Beach Visitors Bureau.

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