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Kelli Ann Johnston

Ellicott City, MD, United States


This photo was taken with my iPhone because my larger camera would have caused too much disturbance in the tiny access point I had to work with. There are 2 Bayberry bushes on either side of our front door. This is the first time in several years they returned to nest in this particular bush. (I had trimmed the bushes way back a few years ago. Bad idea in hind sight) Our front yard seems to be a micro climate for Cardinal breeding. We have a Red Japaneses Maple hybrid tree in the front center of our home that we have nick-named “The Love Shack” because every season, the Cardinals return, flock to that tree and perform their mating dances there. Then they nest in the smaller bushes around our home to lay & hatch their eggs. I named this picture ‘Welcome Home’ as nod to their annual return, a nod for returning to that particular bush (and as a subtle apology for having wrecked their home before) as well as nod to it being right at our front door. Momma and her eggs, and eventually the hatch-lings, welcomed us home every time we returned. (which I interpreted as her acceptance of my apology 😉 I hope you enjoy her beautiful ‘home’ as much as we did. PS. I could decide the category, so I hope it was ok to enter it in both beautiful eggs and best nest….


Beautiful Eggs

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Species: Northern Cardinal

Welcome Home

4 Cardinal eggs. All hatched. All survived.

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