Swimin’ Laps in Estabrook Park Pond

On my way to the pond, as I was trying to take an artsy picture of bloodroot blossoms that are finally opening up fully, I happened to spot this female cardinal working on her nest just about 4 feet off the ground and 10 feet off the oakleaf trail.

She’s camouflaged pretty good in there, eh?

By the time I finally arrived at the pond, it was already nap time for the goslings. They were all tucked up under mom’s wings, and not a one was visible. Even dad was playing it cool and allowing some interlopers to nose around the island on the far side.
I headed west toward the river to bide my time, and have no new sightings to show for it. Happily, by the time I got back to the pond, it was family swim time. Yup, their strict regimen of eating grass, swimming in mom’s slipstream, and sleeping under her wings seems to be working perfectly. All 8 youngins, who are no more than 72 hours old at this point, seem fit as fiddles.

Dad’s pulling up the rear, just out of frame. Once they were all safely ashore, he proceeded to give some interlopers what for.

I only include a couple of pictures in these messages so that they don’t bounce back from some of your mailboxes. I post the rest of the best online at

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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