Cardinal update

A few weeks ago, during the worst of the spring storms, I discovered this in our backyard viburnum bush that grows close to the house…strategically built on the back side of the bush and under the roof’s overhang.

Mom and Dad don’t really like it when I peek in on the family, but I had an insane desire to find out if they’d weathered the 40mph winds, hail and torrential rain of the storms. Bracing for the worst, this is what I saw! Yay! The viburnum bush proved to be a good real estate investment after all. Honestly, I don’t know how the nest and it’s residents survived some of the weather we’ve had.

Yesterday after we returned from Mom’s Day with my mom and sister, I was vegetating on the patio and talking with Army Wife on the phone. I saw a lot of cardinal activity in one of the trees so of course I ran to get my camera. I didn’t want to miss what I thought was happening.

This was happening.

A fledgling up in the tree with Mom and Dad splitting their time between the tree and the bush. Coaxing and feeding, feeding and coaxing. I’m now inside rummaging through drawers and cabinets looking for extra suet cakes to hang. Unsuccessful, I throw what is left of winter’s birdseed around on the ground for hungry parents, and try to follow the progression through the trees.

They tolerate my presence and continue their work. Mama flies in and out of the trees jut out of reach, chirping encouraging words to her baby striking out on his/her own.

Most of my shots are blurry attempts to capture the moments, but I did catch this one that I absolutely love! A moment between parent and child that really drives home that “parenting” is not just for us two-legged creatures. It’s an instinct we share with many others.

The parents continue to flit between trees and bush and I’m wondering if there’s more to this story. With Tanner safely (for the fledglings) behind bars in his outside kennel, I navigate the yard down to the viburnum, checking for other sojourners. Nothing. Mom and Dad are brazenly scolding me as I get closer to the bush. And for good reason.

Not quite ready to be out on his/her own yet, there’s at least one more who thinks the soft safety of the nest is just fine…for now.

And somehow, even though my own fledglings are not around this year, my heart is warmed this Mother’s Day.


5 thoughts on “Cardinal update

  1. I’m so glad they weathered the storm! Our cardinals’ 2nd hatchlings didn’t weather the hurricanes.

    Great shots, Lisa. Such jumpy birds, especially when their babes are starting to forge out on their own.


  2. It’s remarkable to see new life, to see the creatures that survive storm, and the way parents protect their young. Beautiful pictures. Hoping it was a good mother’s day for you.


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