For several weeks, Elaine and I have been watching a female cardinal sitting on her nest that is just a yard away from our chicken run. This is a high traffic area for us, as it is not only next to our Rhode Island Red and Buff Orpington enclosures, but also next to the garden.
Yet, the mother cardinal never seems to mind, and this week the eggs finally hatched. The most fascinating aspect, to date, of this entire affair is how big the baby cardinals have grown in less than a week (picture below). Also of note is that this active nest is in our Rome apple tree, and an apple is growing just a few inches away from the nest.
Of course, we won't pick any apples until the young birds have flown away. We also hope that no wild creature will disrupt the nest in its quest for apples. A metal enclosure encircles the tree so that hopefully will keep any apple eaters away.