The Northern Cardinals did return after all. The nest is far away from the house, right up next to the fence. By watching the birds, I knew they were paying a lot of attention to one tree in the yard. Instead of choosing the Winterberry Bush, the birds choose the Lilac.
I can see why.
This nest is right next to the berry patch and furthest away from the skunk family. It’s a smarter nest, for sure, since skunks do eat birds and their eggs, and because they Northern Cardinals love berries.
In about 10 days, these eggs will hatch.
I’ll keep you posted.