Saturday, April 16, 2016

New Neighbors

One thing I love about sitting on the porch is seeing my favorite tree, a miniature Japanese maple we inherited from the previous owners. It's a lovely, delicate tree that hasn't grown much in the last eleven years, but always blooms every spring with lots of little, pretty leaves. The leaves also start turning a blazing scarlet red in the fall before they fall and the tree goes to sleep for the winter. The other day I noticed something in the branches that on closer inspection turned out to be a tiny nest:

I thought it might be a hummingbird nest (we have a silvery blue variety in the neighborhood), but as I got closer I saw it was a little too big for that:

The nest was situated over my head, so I had my guy get the ladder so we could see what was inside:

The nest was quite skillfully made from oak twigs, spanish moss and some pine needles, and the eggs are really small:

I sat and waited to see who would come back to sit on them, and heard a very familiar cheeping when Mama arrived:

I got my confirmation that it was her nest when she settled down in it:

Then Papa arrived to scold me for being too close (and I have only been able to photograph him once before this):

So the nest belongs to the neighborhood's cardinals, who are regular visitors to our feeders, but have never nested near us before now. I love cardinals, and we all feel immensely flattered that they'd set up their nursery so close to the house. In about eleven to thirteen days I hope to show you what baby cardinals look like.


  1. I miss cardinals. They don't live in Montana!

  2. We are a haven for cardinals where we live and yet I've never seen a nest. I need to be more observant.

    I hope you can post pictures of the babies when they're born.

  3. How cool! I love cardinals. One year one built a nest outside my bedroom window, and I spent the summer peeking through the blinds, trying not to disturb her.

  4. How cool. I'd love to see the babies! I've never seen a cardinal up close.

  5. We had a pair nest in my climbing rose bush about 10 feet from the door we used all the time to sit on the deck. They're shy birds and I never expected that. It was so fun watching them and then the feral cats came around when the eggs hatched and that was that. I wanted to shoot them all... :(


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