Rarely does a summer go by that we don’t have at least one nest of cardinals around the yard, (Or bluejays, wrens, robins..) and if we vacate for a week, they will almost always choose the prime real estate of the back patio. It’s protected from the elements and predators, and cooled with fans, and the birds eventually grow reasonably comfortable with us humanoids close by. A few feet from our back door close, only a few feet overhead. The nest itself is constructed on my home-grown “chandelier” (“Hold my beer while I make a purty decoration for the back porch out of an old bike tire and miniature lights!) I think the drone got tossed-up there years ago, to prevent it becoming a chew-toy for the dogs. Anyway, here’s that photo:
So both mom and dad cardinal hunted bugs to keep the three little hatchlings fed from sunup to sundown. Yes, three nice fat and healthy birds came into the world, but only two were photogenic whenever I had the camera handy. After less than a week, they were ready to fly free, and that’s what they did this past Saturday afternoon. I wonder if they’ll return when it’s time to start their own families? Meanwhile, when I step out onto the porch now, it feels a little like a visit from an old friend has come to an end.