It's spring in Texas and outside our family room window a group of cardinals have built a nest. I've personally enjoyed paying special attention to the family dynamics. Male (bright red) and female (dull brown) cardinals mate for life and during courtship males have been known to try and impress the target of their affections by feeding them. Both male and female share responsibility for feeding and raising their young although it should be noted the female takes the lead in nest building as females are better architects.

Our family has enjoyed watching their family in the week leading up to Mother's Day. It has reminded us of the important role mothers (and fathers) play in tending to insatiable and demanding fledglings.