It all began on March 31, 2012, when I noticed a female cardinal had built a nest and laid some eggs in my greenhouse. I wrote a blog titled Squatter's Rights detailing the discovery.
On Saturday, April 7th, I came home to discover the eggs had hatched. The two little hatchlings were pinkish-orange and appeared to look like eggs without shells. I wondered if something had gone wrong.
On day 2, they didn't look like little shell-less eggs anymore, but if it's possible, they looked more pathetic. The momma bird tweeted and fussed at us, and my husband was convinced she was asking for help with her two deformed youngsters. I must admit that I also wondered if these were normal little babies.
On day 3, it was clear they were getting some hair/feathers on their little pink bodies. They looked a little less pathetic and I started to think they were probably going to be okay.
On day 4, I could see feathers and wings. They were moving around a little more, but their large sightless eyes were a little unnerving.
On day 6, they looked at me for the first time. Suddenly one of the babies jumped up thinking I was delivering a meal. The effort must have been exhausting, because the little tyke immediately plunged back into the nest and went to sleep.
On Day 7, the babies were just chilling waiting for Dad to bring them something tasty. Dad was right outside the window waiting for me to vamoose.
On Day 8, the babies were suddenly quite shy as they were becoming more in tune with their surroundings. "I can see you," baby seems to say "but you can't see me."
By day 9, they had the "I'm invisible" routine down to a science. If it wasn't for those fluffy feathers, they would almost look like nest material.
On day 10, I found an empty nest. The babies were gone, but Mom and Dad were making a racket. Something was wrong.
One of the babies was trapped in the greenhouse. This was our concern from the beginning. Mom and Dad came and went via a small window, but I wondered how uncoordinated first time flyers would manage to copy their parents exit routine.
The poor little baby was peeping very loudly. She repeatedly banged into the wall trying to get out while Mom and Dad squawked in panic outside. I carefully picked up baby and took her outside where she would be closer to her parents.