We enjoy watching the parents build nests in early spring, each in their own distinctive manner and place. Then we eagerly await the arrival of the babies.
This nest, positioned on the downspout next to the garage, is truly a work of art, made of mud, moss and Labrador Retriever fur. We believe is was built by a pair of Flycatchers. They are much easier to hear than see. They certainly slung the mud while building their nest.
In the past, the wreath hanging on the garage door has been the favorite nesting spot for the Carolina Wrens.
For some reason, this year they decided my greenhouse was a more desirable place. Consequently, I haven't been able to spend much time in there myself, for fear of disturbing their nesting activity.
The Chickadees choose this clay birdhouse every year, no matter where I hang it.They are becoming quite active and noisy so I expect them to fledge soon.
Our favorites, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, built their nest in the nandinas by the garage this year. Considering the Cardinal's size, the nest is rather small. The male Cardinal is an excellent mate, bringing the female food as she broods. He also shares in the responsibilities of raising the young birds.
Yesterday, Mother's Day, was Fledging Day as the two baby cardinals left the nest. Mom and Dad were in a noisy panic as the fledglings hopped from limb to limb.It's hard to believe that this awkward looking creature will someday be a magnificent Northern Cardinal.
As my Birding RV-er friend, Kathy said, "He looks like a little punker with a bad hair day!!"
Each year as I watch the young leave their nests I'm always reminded of my favorite Andy Griffith episode , Opie-The Birdman.
Opie accidentally kills a mother bird with his new slingshot and takes it upon himself to raise the orphaned baby birds. He grows very attached to them, but then has to set them free when they get big.
Opie sadly comments,"Cage sure looks awful empty, don't it, Pa?"
Andy replies, "Yes, son, it does... But don't the trees seem nice and full?"