Thursday, June 29, 2006

Empty Nest: A happy ending

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Mama and Papa Cardinal, I'm happy to report, have succeeded this time around. After losing their first clutch of eggs to whatever lurks in my Lady Banks Rose, they were able to finally not see baby birds hatch from their new nest in the mulberry tree, but grow and fly free.

I knew they were gone as soon as I walked outside yesterday and heard the parents calling from the tangle of trees on the ditch bank between our yard and the fields beyond. Mama was in front, feeding and coaxing the babies to follow. Dad brought up the rear, keeping watch for danger, his red crest raised like a flag of warning.

I braved the thorny vines, holly trees and magnolias to venture nearer, hoping to get a shot of the babies. But every time I got one in focus it would manage a bumbling flight to the next tree. I did learn a bit more about cardinal vocalizations, though. I'm convinced now that this one sharp note the father kept repeating means, "Quiet!" because he had yet to utter it when the babies would all fall silent. As I backed away, the communication began anew.

In other good bird news, the eggs in the shed have hatched an now we have Cup-o-Wrens. The mother is tiny, hyper and very protective of her discarded Pepsi-cup home, so the most I can manage is one shot at a time. But here's the one I shot yesterday, with three eggs hatched and one to go.


eaglewood said...

That looks like one proud daddy bird.

Morgan said...

He is a proud daddy bird, and a good one, too. I think he spent as much if not more time tending to his brood as the mama bird did.
I'm just glad they all made it out of the nest safely. Now I can stop fretting over them, and fret over the Cup-o-Wrens instead.

Nicole said...

What beautiful pics.
There is a little prairie gopher that has made his home under my garden shed. My husband keeps threatening me that he is going to " get rid of him", but me and the kids are blatantly feeding it, and husband has done nothing. This little guy is great amusement for one of the cats we recently adopted, Ozzy LOVES to watch out the window as the gopher acts like he owns the place when he thinks nobody is watching.
Maybe I will take a picture of him and post.

Morgan said...

Thanks, Nicole!
I'd love to see pictures of the gopher if you can get a shot of him the next time he pops up. ;-)
We don't have gophers here. No chipmunks either, which delight me but plague my Maryland-dwelling in-laws by eating the bulbs in their yard.
We do have lots of squirrels, though. My sister takes lots of squirrel pictures, and feeds the little tree rats regularly. They're so fat they can barely climb the trees.

Woozie said...

My dog chases birds around the yard all the time and acts as if he owns the place. If he cought one though, I don't think he'd ever eat it, which is always good.

And also I found this video online, and figured you would enjoy watching it, goven your stauchly anti-WalMart views.

jcw said...


OT but I read some of your questions/comments on VP about the 9/11 conspiracy theories. Zek pointed out that Popular Mechanics(March 2005) picked 16 of the most prevalent questions about this day and explained the circumstances. I think one of them may answer some of your questions. I thought I would tell you here instead of being drowned out at VP.

Roland said...

The erotic writing must be taking up a lot of time. Or is it the practice of the passages you have written? ;)

Nice photos, Morgan.

thimscool said...

I'm jonezin for some hippie wisdom!

Mario Profaca said...

Hi Morgan!
Greetings from who-know-where-is-it Zagreb, Croatia!
Just thought you might like to see hawk's nest built at my balcony at 20th floor three years ago. Two squadrons of hawks have been born there on my balcony this so called 'wild birds' chosed for their home.
Obviously, there is no Empty Nest Sindrome here!
(Unfortunately, only in Croatian language so far).

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » »

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