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Birds--General/Accidently disturbed an active cardinal nest


Good Day,
Yesterday, I incorrectly determined that a cardinal nest near our front door had been abandoned.  I took the ceramic vessel containing the nest off the wall and removed the nesting material.  During this process, I found 5 cardinal eggs within.  I immediately reinstalled the nest and hung it back up in the same location.  This morning, I heard the mother chirping loudly for about 30 minutes on a branch below the nest.  I did not witness her in the nest.  My question is...Is there anything that I can do or not do to support mother returning to the nest to complete nature's cycle.  I will not make this mistake again.  Thank you,
Mary Ellen

Well, you probably have determined that it is not a good idea to disturb a nest in the spring. Be that as it may, there is nothing to do now except to leave her alone- the lease amount of disturbance as possible. She may or may not resume her parental duties. By the way, human smell on the nest is not a problem - that's a myth. But serious disturbance might cause her to abandon the nest. Only time will tell.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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