About a month ago, we heard some wild chirping outside and stumbled into two male cardinals trying to prove to each other who was the bigger man.
They don't seem remotely bothered by her, but they don't like it when I stare at them through the window. So I try not to because...I don't want to frighten them off. They aren't sitting on the nest full time yet, so here's a view of the nest as we can see it through our window:
It's nestled into the branches quite snuggly and I can't quite peep into it unaided from the outside, so the other day I stuck my phone up in the branches and took a picture...and found it empty. But today I did the same thing and I found...an egg!
- They typically mate for life (and frequently travel in pairs).
- They (and other birds) don't necessarily start incubating eggs right away. Evidently they can just let their eggs sit around in the air temperature for days (even weeks) before they incubate them (this may be to ensure the eggs all hatch around the same time).
- Cardinals feel very exotic to me because I never saw them growing up, but apparently their range is expanding farther north and there have even been sightings in Alberta.
- They can suppress West Nile Virus once infected with it.
- They used to be commonly kept as pets, but that's illegal now. But I feel like having them build a nest just outside our window is pretty close (but obviously very different).