On September 13, 2022, Atlanta-based naturalist and garden expert Arty Schronce looked out his kitchen window and saw what he thought was a female cardinal trapped in a huge, golden spiderweb.
That would have been strange enough—but upon closer inspection, Schronce realized that the bird wasn’t stuck after all. It actually was perched on a strand of the web and taking swipes at the large black, yellow, and red arachnid that built it: an invasive jorō spider (Trichonephila clavata).
After the spider was scared off, the cardinal gobbled up a few of the insects that had become caught in the web. Then it flew away.
The whole encounter lasted just two minutes, but Schronce suspected he’d just witnessed something special. When