It's been raining nearly non-stop since Sunday. The first few days were actually kind of nice. Nice to listen to the rain on the roof. Nice to walk in puddles. Nice for sleeping. But today isn't quite so nice. Today our backyard is flooding and I am getting ready to sandbag our back door. I am not the only one feeling a little stressed by the water. Our poor little Cardinal family is also struggling with the rain. A few weeks ago we watched them diligently building their nest near our front door. Made mostly from moss, leaves, and bits of plastic. We left pretty pink yarn around the yard for them but they seemed to prefer the plastic. I was actually kind of sad to see them flying around the yard with plastic, but now I wonder if they are actually smart parents who were trying to make that nest a little more water repellent?
When the rain first started, the babies were just a few days old. We wondered what would happen. I had never thought about birds in the rain, much less newly hatched birds. Here's what's been happening. The mama spends most of the time in the nest sitting over her babies. She gets soaked, but keeps her babies dry. When it wasn't raining, both parents took turns hunting for food and watching the nest. But with this rain the daddy Cardinal has been keeping a close watch from the tree above and he has been regularly flying in with food. It's been a heartwarming little nature show outside our front door. But it's now starting to become a little heartbreaking.
With this non-stop rain, I have started to worry about our little bird family. This morning as the water was rising in the back yard I could hear a lot of chirping in the front. Poor Mama Cardinal was hopping around the bush. She was so wet it seemed hard for her to fly with her water-soaked wings. And I could see one little lone baby (originally four babies) poking his head out of the nest. Unfortunately when they built the nest they chose the spot right below the roof line....just a few more inches closer to the house and they would have been free from any rain. Makes me worry that the babies are drowning in the downpour and that Mama Cardinal is in need of some serious respite. Feeling the need to help but not wanting to cause further problems. The only solution I could think of was to prop an open umbrella over the bush. So far it seems to be giving some relief. Mama Cardinal quickly returned to her spot in the nest and things have been fairly quiet...except for the rain. Keeping my fingers crossed that both of our nests can weather these heavy rains.