april 17 – early afternoon
Happy Day! Prayers and holding hope for Eve’s return to the nest returned good fruit.
Today is finally warmer and the bird activity is high again (after days of cold). Though the cardinal nest was absent of Eve earlier, I thought I’d take a peek outside. As soon as I opened the back door at least a dozen birds flew from the pine tree! There must be 12 nests in there from an assortment of species!
All of the winged ones flew into the nearby tree. I scouted for a cardinal shape and sure enough, there was Eve!
All I can venture to guess is that the cold spell kept Eve and all the little birds off their nests and hunkered in to other spots. Perhaps because she’d only laid one egg so far she stayed off the nest until a warmer and more inviting day beckoned her back.
It’s easy to partially see Eve’s nest through the branches without even touching the tree but I don’t want to open the door again and stir anyone from their nest.
Things to be mindful of regarding wild birds and nests: Never disrupt or hang around for any length of time. Never invade or touch the nest or change or clip branches. Be mindful that human curiosity can stress the birds – their safety and well being comes before our curiosity about them.
A female cardinal will lay 2-5 eggs in a clutch and have 1-2 broods a year. Brown-headed Cowbirds are brood parasites. They don’t build their own nests. Instead they lay their eggs in the nests of other actively laying female birds. Unfortunately for ‘host’ species like the Cardinal, the cowbirds get large quickly, this commanding most of the food that the cardinals (or other hosts) bring in for their young. This in turn often affects the success, or lack thereof, of the host’s young. See this bird cam video (from Cornell’s site) of a cowbird laying her egg in a cardinal’s nest.