Ok, That Was Stressful – the Story of a Baby Bird

Four days ago I confirmed the presence of a cardinal nest.  Mom and dad cardinal alerted me to it and though I love birds, I don’t actually love having a nest right at my back door.  It creates a lot of stress. Way, way, way too much stress.  The biggest concerns –  my two, big dogs who’ve brought me baby birds in the past. Dead ones.

I moved the grill, locked the dogs inside and started watching all of this play out.  I obsessed.  I chased squirrels away.  I put signs on doors to ensure the safety of birds/fledglings.  And here’s how the last week went  —  in photos. If you’re looking at this on a phone, turn it sideways – that’s the best way to view photos.

May 5 – the first day I noticed the cardinals hanging around constantly. Here’s dad.

May 9 – what’s that noise? A baby!!! Photo by Rylan Cole.

May 9 – mom on nest. How many are there?  This would remain a mystery.

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May 9 – oh, &^%*, one of two barred owls that live on my property. Please don’t mess with the cardinals!!!

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May 9 – mom and dad both feed the baby.  Here’s mom with a worm wrapped around her beak.

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May 11 – dad always on duty.  He guarded that nest 24 x 7.

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May 12 – today.  Out of the nest and almost ready for the world.  But not leaving tree.

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May 12 – today.  I’m not the only one panicking.  Mom is more stressed than I am.  That’s actually unbelievable, but it’s true.  She’s flying back and forth, feeding, encouraging, feeding, stressing.

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May 12 – today. Dad is doing all the same stuff – stressing, feeding, encouraging, guarding.

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May 12 – today.  I then watched the most beautiful thing happen.  Baby flew!!!

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May 12 – today. This is the part where I start crying.  But only a little. It can fly, but it’s hungry.

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May 12 – today. Full-on crying now.  Because I’m a mom too and apparently some things make me a little sappy.

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May 12- today. I’m still crying.  I’m sure this is foreshadowing four years from now, when I’ll really have empty nest syndrome, but I feel it now. Yes, it’s possible to be happy and sad at the same time. Good luck, baby cardinal. Hope to see you,  your mom and dad again.

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