Say Hello to This Year’s Baby Cardinal!

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It’s been a while since I blogged about my own backyard, which is kind of funny, since the blog started as a photo log of nature seen in the garden.  In the summer my yard is fairly quiet.  We have some Mourning Doves, a couple of Northern Mockingbirds, a few House Finches, occasionally a pair of Common Ground Doves, and our sweet pair of Northern Cardinals.  The cardinals have already nested once this spring, and after we saw Baby C learn to fly and feed himself, we stopped seeing him.  I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I have a feeling that the neighbor’s feral cats got him. :(  I stopped seeing Mom and Dad Cardinal regularly soon after that, so I had a feeling they were working on Brood #2.  So it was with great pleasure this afternoon that I heard the familiar nagging call and spotted the baby outside my window.

Baby Cardinal
Baby Cardinal.  This was shot through my very dirty window – gotta love construction at your house!

This little guy has just learned to fly.  He spent most of his time on the ground.  He reminded me of the baby skimmers when he got tired of waiting for Dad to bring him a worm, so he picked up a piece of mulch and tried to eat it.  At this age the babies are fearless.  They seem to think that everyone is a friend.

With the cardinals, it’s the dad who gets to look after the fledglings.  So I wasn’t surprised to spot Dad close by in my crape myrtle tree.  He seemed to be going crazy trying to catch food to bring to the baby.

Papa Cardinal
Papa Cardinal

The other great thing that happened in my yard today will have to go unillustrated, as I wasn’t fast enough to grab the camera.  Our hummingbird came back!  We’ve seen him several times this spring/summer, well after migration finished.  So I’m pretty sure he’s a summer resident.  He likes to visit my hummingbird bush in the back, and today he drank from my honeysuckle blooms as well.  Often his visits are just seconds long, but today he spoiled us and stayed for several minutes.  Rich and I watched in awe as he zipped around.  It’s such fun to finally start seeing these guys in my yard after gardening for them for years!

One thought on “Say Hello to This Year’s Baby Cardinal!

  1. It must be that time … our Cardinal fledgling made his first appearance at the bird bath yesterday. Just like yours, dad was busy trying to find protein for the kid.

    Happy to hear about your Hummingbird, even if I am jealous!

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