The circle of life... goodbye little birds

I wish Mama Bird had built her nest in a higher place - because this morning as I stepped out the front door I saw a bit of the nest on the ground in front of the planter and I knew immediately what I would find.... yep.  The nest was ripped apart and empty.

Well, empty save for one broken egg.  But the two baby birds were gone.

I checked back on the security camera and I had no movement alerts during the night - although, because of the placement of the camera, the night vision sucks on this particular house cam.

It 'reflects' off the brick ledge during the night and shrouds everything else in pitch black.  Unless there is light (even a speck) or something walks in front of the landscape lights to make them flicker, I wouldn't have had an alert.

Although I couldn't see what or when the nest was attacked and emptied, sadly I see the moment when Mama Bird discovered the murder scene.

Video shows her arriving at the nest at 5:39 am with a big 'something' in her beak to feed the littles.  She hops up, stops, looks around and spends the next 3 minutes continuously looking around before giving up and flying off.

It made me so very, very sad. 

I know it's the circle of life and all that.  But it still hurts my heart.  

As for what might have gotten to the nest?  The list is long.
Yesterday I noticed a murder of crows in our front yard and trees.  They were insanely loud and obnoxious.  I watched them a bit and wondered what in the world was in the area to make them gather here and go nuts, and hoped they would fly off and find somewhere else to gather.  Intelligent, but horrible birds.   We have a number of any and every kind of bird here but I don't really think it was a bird that got the nest.  

During the night we regularly have raccoons, armadillos, skunk, cats, coyotes, bobcats, oppossum, squirrels, rats and flying squirrels.  I have a flying squirrel on the security camera from two nights ago - dropping in, landing on the brick ledge in the photo you see above, looking into the camera and turning and scurrying off to the right. There's a good chance it was a raccoon or a squirrel that attacked the nest.  (Yes, squirrels, especially gray squirrels, love to eat eggs and baby birds... even mama birds if they can get them).   

And now, I'm off to sip some coffee and start my morning.  A bit sad but trying to remind myself it's how the world works in nature. 

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Thanks for sharing morning coffee with me!