Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Cardinals Nest

For whatever reason, our homes have always attracted various animals. Squirrels, doves, wrens, lizards, turtles, frogs, and even Midnight the cat, have all made themselves comfortable with us over the years. But the latest addition is really exceptional.

A family of cardinals has just taken up lodgings in the creeping vine which grows between the back porch and the downspout. They are only feet from me when I sit out back to play music, or just to lie in the sun. I usually find the chirping of birds distracting, especially if I can’t see them, but this family; let’s call them a Council of Cardinals; are exceptionally entertaining.

They are currently in the process of moving in and building their nest, and it seems that everyone in the family has a job to do. So far as I can tell, the family consists of three; so far no sign of Papa. So, basically it’s Mama and her two hatchlings doing all the work.

They fly in with material and then turn right back around after dropping it off. After several sorties they all congregate inside the vine, atop the rain gate , and then there is  incessant chirping as they each debate their own visions about how the nest should be constructed. In the end, I’m sure, Mama will win out.

They’re still a bit wary of me; it’s probably the banging of the screen door as I go in and out which startles them. They are probably wondering who the hell I think I am, living on the side of their new home? But they tolerate me. After all, the cat is friendly and when the bird feeder next door at Chip and Anne’s is empty, they can always wing over to Midnight's bowl for some cat food. In a unique sort of way, it’s a self-sustaining eco-system. It should last forever. Well; as long as I supply the cat food.

If you enjoyed this story about the wildlife in my backyard, you might also enjoy this true, but sad story from 2011;

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