Re-Live The Cardinal Cam Experience

This is video and text of a cam that was place above a Northern Cardinal nest.

This rare experience was watched by several thousand bird lovers who visited our website. Live chats were also had during this time.

A pair of Northern Cardinals decided to nest in a small cedar tree located in a backyard in Lawrence, Kansas. A bird cam that was originally purchased to be installed in a Purple Martin house, was instead placed above the Cardinals nest.

A connection to the web was made and we began streaming this live cam on April 10, 2009. From April 10, 2009 until May 10, 2009 this nest was viewed by thousands of people who stumbled upon our Nest Cam while seaching for something else only to end up, returning to watch the drama unfold.

And there was drama.

Three eggs were laid before a Cowbird arrived and removed two of the eggs and laid one of her own. The female Cardinal incubated and hatched both a Cowbird and a Cardinal egg.

After an attack by a Grackle, our smallest hatchling died. We were never certain whether the Cowbird or Cardinal nestling survived since they looked similar in the nest, regardless, we fell in love with the survivor.

And for the next several days we sat glued to our computer screens.

From as far away as Sydney Austrailia, people came together to watch a little bird, in a nest, in a backyard in Kansas.

Hoping, and sometimes praying, that nature would finally be kind enough to let this little nestling join the world and safely leave the nest.

Thankfully, she did. This is that story, edited in video and text.

Please take some time to relax and enjoy...


A Little background information will give you a better understanding of the surroundings.

The camera is place in a small cedar tree that has always been trimmed to about 9 feet tall. The reason it's trimmed and kept so short is that the tree is within 12 feet of our Purple Martin set up and Purple Martins don't like tall trees near their housing.

This is the tree where the Cardinal nest is located.

Cardinal Tree and Area

In the photograph below, the white circle represents the location of the nest and bird camera.

nest site in cedar tree

Nest Shaping

This is a video of the female shaping the nest bowl for her future brood.

Incubation and Egg Turning

Our female began incubation on the 16th of April. She weathered thunderstorms, high winds, and cold temperatures over the course of 13 days and nights.

Early morning April 29, 2009, two hatchlings were born into this world.

Meet The Cardinal Pair

Outside of view of the nest cam things were going on. The male and Female Northern Cardinal can be seen bringing food to their nestling. Sorry that you have to look close but I didn't want to disturb them.

Video of the female unsuccessfully trying to entice the nestling to leave the nest by showing him food and then flying out of the tree.

This was day 10, the next day our little one left the nest.

More Of The Pair Outside The Nest

10 Days In The Nest Revisited

An edited version of the 10 days leading up to the day of fledging.

Re-live Day 11 Of Our Little Nestling Leaving The Nest

A bird cam was placed above a Northern Cardinal nest. We were the first to capture our own Cardinal from nest building to when the nestling left the nest. Eleven days after hatching the surviving nestling left the nest. This is an edited video of that last day know as... Day 11 Fledging Day.

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Northern Cardinal Life Cycle

The Cardinal nest. was begun the week of 4-5-09. The camera was installed on 4-10-09.

If you're interested in having your own bird cam take a look at the Hawk-eye Bird Cam that we're using. It's very affordable and easy to install.

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