I spent the spring collecting hair for bird to line their nests with: my hair, my pets' hair, the unsuspecting neighbor dogs' hair. A whole generation of tiny birds were hatched into soft blankets of local hair. We're starting to see the results. Last week was the first appearance of a couple of young cardinals. They look a lot like the females, but they lack the snappy orange beaks and assertive manners of the adults. They have a more timid look, and aren't nearly as proficient with the sunflower seed buffet. I've seen this one spending quite a long time trying to break open a seed, only to finally figure out that it was an empty shell half to begin with. One of the young males is just starting to get his red chest feathers, but they're coming in very sporadically. He looks like someone was trying to color in his chest with a marker that's just about to run out of ink.