On Monday, we had a baby cardinal sighting. It was quite brief and it was not possible to determine much, including the age of the little one. And now it seems that we have had a mysterious disappearance sometime in the last 24 hours.
We haven’t seen much of the male cardinal, but the female has been to the nest every day. Today, however, she was not sighted at all. Since the nest was unattended and neither parent was seen or heard nearby, Dan got in close to quickly stick a cameraphone above the nest and get a photo:
Two eggs, no babies. Hopefully the baby we saw was older than we originally thought and was ready to leave the nest. In trying to find out more information about cardinal nesting habits and cardinal babies, I found estimates of anywhere from 7 to 15 days before the young ones leave the nest. I did not think the cardinals had been there that long, but I don’t know for sure.
The eggs are supposedly laid one each on consecutive days, so I’m not sure why (at least) one hatched and the others did not. I’m guessing these eggs are not viable since we haven’t seen the female cardinal for a whole day. Either that, or something happened to her. We do have the occasional predatory bird in the area, and of course a fair number of cats whose owners let them roam outdoors.
It’s sad to think that something might have happened to them, but that would be part of the circle of life. I just hope it had nothing to do with the overzealous bush trimming last week, but I have a feeling that is probably the cause of those two eggs not being viable.
(NaBloPoMo | July ’09: 23 of 31 | 75% Challenge: 180 of 274)