One of the many positive
aspects of using native plants is that they provide food for wildlife.
Black Ironwood fruit is a favorite of cardinals and other birds.
commonly nest in black ironwood trees.
Wouldn't you build a
temporary little fort in the fresh fruits section of the grocery store, if you could?
The expecting couple make the nest together and then the
mother lays the eggs and doesn't move while incubating them
Within a few days, the eggs hatch, and the mother and father are kept
busy feeding the hatchlings in between peeps.
The father comes every thirty minutes or so, with a beak
full of food for his little brood.
The father brings a regurgitated, partially pelletized
grasshopper and places it in the mouth of one of the babies.
In the photo at right, the father gets every drop of
nutrition out of the grasshopper by catching the previous day's grasshopper
as it exits the lower end of the intestinal tract of the hatchling.
The father feeds the morsel to another of his offspring.
On the last day of nesting, two fledglings remain. The father encourages the stronger of the two, and it takes its first flight
to a nearby bush.
The one remaining still isn't ready, and spends the next
few hours shivering and resting, stretching and preening, before taking its first flight.