The Cardinal’s Nest And The Evil Chipmunk
The prairie rose (Rosa setigera) and the trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) are collaborating nicely to create a viney (not really a word, so sue me) tangle against the back brick wall of our attached garage. The kind of tangle, I hope, that will tempt birds to build nests.
So we were very happy when we noticed a cardinal flying back and forth to where the tangle was thickest. When I looked there, lo and behold, I did find a nest – no sign of any eggs, though.
A day or two after this discovery, I noticed leaves shaking and wiggling in that spot. Could there already be a juvenile bird?
Sadly, no. It was a chipmunk. I scared him off by shaking a vine, causing him to leap to the ground right in front of me from a height of about 5′. Kind of impressive, for a chipmunk.
Subsequent checking online revealed a disturbing fact: chipmunks eat eggs. They even eat baby songbirds. That’s what the little creep was looking for.
I always thought there was something sinister under that too cute “Oh, look at me, aren’t I adorable” chipmunk act. Under all that saccharine posing, Alvin and his friends engage in the devouring of helpless baby songbirds.
They are also much better at climbing than I would have ever thought. Apparently the tangles in my garden need to get bigger and thornier before they can be considered safe.
One other thing, though. It seems the Cardinal nest has been abandoned. There is no traffic back and forth. And there are no broken egg shells or anything of the kind.
Has the nest really been abandoned? It seems a shame, and yet perhaps it is for the best, given the presence of Alvin the Terrible.
Have you ever seen nests abandoned before being used – or chipmunk atrocities – in your garden?