Cardinal Family

Hope to add a few chicks to the flock.

I thought the Cardinals wouldn’t nest in our garden this year since it’s already July.  I don’t remember exactly when they nested over the last couple of years.  I do remember they liked to nest in the rose bushes though.  The first one I saw was in the wild rose bush, but unfortunately the brood didn’t survive.  I guess the mother may have inadvertently fed them poisoned insects from another yard.  Last year, one pair nested in the Himalayan Musk rose bush and produced three healthy chicks.

It’s interesting to see how territorial they can be during nesting season.  I only see one or two male Cardinals in the garden in summer but we have a large flock of them in winter.  My count last winter during feeding time was thirteen males and eight females.  They all lined up in the Forsythia like Christmas ornaments.  I think we may have drawn all the Cardinals in the neighborhood.  We offered premium food and a heated birdbath – a hot spa for them in winter.  Wouldn’t you enjoy great food, a hot drink and then a hot bath in the middle of cold weather?

They make a truce with each other in winter and flock together in order to survive so they can chase one another around again in the middle of spring.  Then the males mark their territory by staking out a bush or branch and singing loudly.

Nice color, blue with freckles

I don’t know that the pair nesting in the Himalayan Musk this year is the same pair as last year but it doesn’t matter really,  as long as they are producing a healthy brood.  The last time I took a peek at the nest, they had three eggs.  The female has been sitting on them most of the time now.  In a few days they should have little fuzzy chicks.  I’ll take another peek then, just to make sure they all hatched.

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