Northern Cardinal is a widespread bird in east coast and it can be seen in some parts of Texas and as far as Arizona desert. They are non migratory and often come to feeders. We, at east coast, are blessed geographically with these delightful birds. Our backyard becomes alive with their daily visit. Especially during winter when leaves are gone, their colorful appearances embellish Simorgh's Garden.
I have few pairs cardinal residents live around my backyard. In early April, I discovered a female cardinal bring some nesting material and decided to follow her (not too closely, of course). She mainly worked in the morning and took time off in the afternoon. Male cardinal will bring food to feed her. This lovely theme quickly spread through out other pairs. The first nest was completed in a short 3 or 4 days. Then two subelliptical eggs were laid. In order not to get too close to the nest, I managed taking some pictures and videos of nest and egg incubation. This particular female's first nest was not that successful due to an attack by two crows. I was depressed for few days after this incident and thought I could help to defend her because I witnessed her accident. Later, I realized it's the "nature". It's really hard for wild birds to survive in nature with harsh weather, lack of food source and constant threat from predators. In a short few days (3 to 5 days), this female cardinal found another secluded spot not far from her previous nest and started a new nest. Cardinals do not reuse their nests.
(Above, male is feeding fledgling)My whole summer became a nest seeking adventure. I kept a good distance from all nests or females will abandon their nests. It was fun to see female singing and calling from her nest and quickly male showed up and brought her food. Female cardinal incubates her nest for 11 to 14 days and she only leaves briefly for food while male stays close by to watch out for her and also drives away any potential intruders and predators. In a pouring rain afternoon, I worried about the young birds and went to check on them. I saw mother spread her wings to cover her young and I was very touched.
(Fledgling...I'm flying soon!)
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