Friday, July 8, 2011

The Cardinal Family

This is the beginning of cardinal observations from July 5th to July 7th. The nest is above the pedestrian path. In other words, above cement. While the nestlings were new it wasn't possible to see what was going on. By the 4th it was obvious that there were two babies. They began calling, loud "peep, peep, PEEP!" Some of this is very sad, but I promise, this report will have a happy ending.
The mother cardinal also removes fecal sacs from nest. Had never seen that before.

Evening on the 5th. The first time children are really visible.

I could not tell where this kid was standing, on nest rim? But upon seeing picture I could see that kid was out of nest on branch.

And then baby took flight, but never flapped wings. It dropped to cement like a stone right at my feet. I've seen dead babies on the sidewalk, but never had one drop in front of me. Had this baby managed to flap its wings a bit it would have landed in the grass or in a nearby little tree. Perhaps if the nest were higher the fledge would have been successful, but not all fledges have happy endings.

Instead, baby gasped a bit, then lay still, mortally wounded.

I moved baby off path, then went for a shroud and buried baby in secret place.
I know this is a general public blog. Horrible things happen. Not all baby birds survive. I don't know why this baby didn't flap its wings. There was no sight of the parents when this happened.

Cardinal parents are wonderfully caring. I knew they would search for their child. Deeply saddened I came back upstairs and wept. The baby never hurt anyone and lost its life. How is it that I have more feelings for this little bird than for some humans.

This report will continue. It is not all sad.


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