Saga of the Nestlings

Recall that the house finch nestlings were taken by a marauding crow yesterday. The house finch parents were frantic and devastated for about an hour. Although the crow flew by a second time, it didn’t return. The reason why was clear today. The nest is still in the tree but it’s obviously a wreck. We think it has been abandoned.

I checked on the cardinal nest and could find only one baby. He’s large and the younger, smaller brother is nowhere in sight.

Big fella

The robins have not laid any eggs in the nest under our deck and it’s likely they’ve abandoned it.

Survival of the fittest seems to be the lesson here. Instinct is the driver, but it was hard not to think of the house finch parents, (especially the female) as grieving the loss of all their chicks.

The cardinal parents seem very annoyed when I pop around with my camera. Why not? Life is hard enough, with bad weather, crappy nest-building materials, unsafe locations, and predatory crows.

By the way, we saw a yellow warbler for the first time. I mistook it for a goldfinch at first. But then I saw the streaking on its belly and checked my field guide. Goldfinches have black wings and a black forehead patch. Yellow warbler males have orange streaks on their bellies. This one was probably picking bugs off the topmost tree leaves. It’s a male and making the most of its time on earth.

Yellow Warbler male

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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