Friday, June 23, 2006

A second chance

Do you remember that mother cardinal, the one who abandoned her nest outside out bedroom window after something - most likely a snake - ate her eggs?

I discovered this morning that she's built another nest , this one in a little mulberry tree back beside the chicken coop. There are four lusty, demanding baby birds that look to be about a week old.

Of course, I couldn't resist taking some pictures, including some managed from a "birds eye view," shot from above and down into the nest.

If you're worried that such activity will disturb the parents into abandoning their offspring, don't. Birds are more fearless than you think. If you must photograph them, though, do what I do and keep the sesssions short and infrequent.

Now, this shot isn't the best. I snapped it from across the yard, but if you look carefully you can make out the male cardinal feeding the babies. Englarge it for a better look.

I showed the nest to the kids, and when I told Larry he said, "Didn't I tell you about the wren's nest in the shed? Let me show you."

So here's a shot of that, too. It's takes a pretty creative bird to build a nest inside a drinking cup, but Carolina Wrens are notorious for building nests in peculiar places. Years ago my neighboring farm wife left a pair of overalls on the clothesline while she was away for the weekend and when she came back there was a nest of wrens in the front pocket. They also build in hanging basket, open mail boxes and the inside of abandoned lawn equipment.

There are four speckled eggs that should be hatching pretty soon. I'll keep you posted.

Larry said the mother is usually sitting on the eggs in the early morning hours, and dive-bombs him if he gets too close. Today it was warm so she must have been out to lunch for a bit.


Woozie said...

I wonder if the snake that ate the eggs has been on any planes lately?

Anyway, we always get pigeons and robins around here, the nests are usually in trees, but one time there was a bird's nest in the space between a box of car parts and our garage that was open at the time.

Morgan said...

With the buffet in our yard I wouldn't be surprised if they were flying in from all over.
I haven't seen any robins, but they might be up in the pine trees with the grackles. Pigeons build the shoddiest nests; I've raised tons of them that have fallen.

dlkjdfsa said...

Pigeons aren't birds, they're cockroaches with feathers.

Morgan said...

No, Robert. I'm afraid of cockroaches. If a pigeon got in my hair, I might say, "Eeew!" but I wouldn't get drunk and throw furniture.

jcw said...


Seagulls are cockroaches with feathers. They will eat anything sometimes to their detriment.

Morgan said...

We feed the seagulls that congregate in the local bookstore parking lot, and they really are quite clever. Several have learned to catch food in mid-air, and hover over people who feed them. Because they are the "clowns" in the bunch, they end up getting the most handouts.

Andy Looney said...

So ye still have snakes doon in that part of the country do ye lass?

Thank the Lard the good St. Patrick drove them out of the GTA thisands o yars agoo.

Now if he could come back and drive oot all these gulls, pigeons, starlings, brainless mourning doves and especially all these filthy Canada Geese then we'd really be gitten some'ers.

Morgan said...

Oh yes, Mr. Looney, there be snakes here. Lots of them.

My husband is sort of like St. Patrick, only he drives them out after catching them. Check out this particularly nasty rattlesnake he caught last year:

I don't mind the birds as much, although the doves sound so mournful. I wonder if they're crying because they're so stupid?

Lord Omar said...

We have Seagulls here in Yarmouth called blackbacks. I think their actual name is the Great Black-backed Gull. These bastards (and that's what they are) are huge. Their wing span can get up to 5 feet and they can get aggressive. They pretty much roam downtown unmolested as they are the baddest motherfuckers in Birdville. WHAT!

Morgan said...

"They pretty much roam downtown unmolested as they are the baddest motherfuckers in Birdville. WHAT!"

Dude. I just Googled Great Black-Backed Gulls and saw they are two feet long and have a 65 inch wingspan.

What in the name of Alfred Hitchcock are you guys feeding those things? Kraft Dinner? Conscientious objectors?

I'm afraid.

Roland said...

Nice photos, Morgan.
What would we say if you took pictures of pigeon or gull nests? ;)

Morgan said...

"Nice photos, Morgan.
What would we say if you took pictures of pigeon or gull nests? ;)"

Let's see. Woozie would probably ask where the snakes were and Omar would make a comment about the mf--ing nests.

Lord Omar said...

I can cool it on the language if you prefer. Your house, your rules ;-)

Lord Omar said...

Fourteen ;-)
I got your back...

Morgan said...

Omar, your rough language is part of your nomadic charm. I have no desire to stifle you, as I like yo immensely. So as you were.
But I can't tell you how much I appreciate the gesture. And thanks for saving me from the "bad number."