The Mamas and the Papas of the bird world
No one said being a mother was easy. Being a mother bird takes this challenge to a whole new level. In February, on the Eastern Shore, a mother eagle sat in her nest covering her eggs even as a snowstorm covered her. Last summer, in my back yard, a mother cardinal laid three batches of eggs. Her first and third hatchlings fledged and survived, her second pair did not: They were eaten in the middle of the night. Right now, in early May, all around our woodland edges, mother cowbirds are laying eggs — sometimes three dozen each — but not in nests made by them or their mates.