An Internet picture of a female cardinal –
Where this northern female is golden brown, our female in Georgia is more gray-toned.
She is so beautiful.
Jan and I are sad. We have been feeding Mama and Papa Cardinal. Jan finally located their nest in a bush under our bathroom window. Although the nest is deep, we were excited to try to get a peek of the chicks when they started hopping out some day soon.
Last year Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal had a family in our huge pine tree in front of our house. Mama was as busy as a bee as she fed those three babies, each one getting an equal turn at taking a bite. Mama knew where she had left off when she brought food back to the nest for her children.
Alas, day before yesterday as we got out of the car, Jan saw a tiny, featherless baby bird on the ground. Aaaawwww…. Yesterday I looked out the window throughout the day to see if I could see Mama on the nest. She wasn’t! So we figured that it had to be a baby cardinal. The Mrs. must have had only one egg and the hatchling somehow got out of the nest before its eyes were opened.
Today I saw Mrs. Cardinal and I felt so sad for her. She looked so sorrowful. The crest on her head was lying flat instead of sticking up as it usually does. this minute I looked up “crest on a cardinal” and was taken aback to read this line on the search engine page: “The unusual crest of this red bird is a visible marker of his emotional state.” When I went into the article, I found the statement and it continued saying, “When calm it lies flat, when excited it lifts tall and peaked.” Normally, the cardinals around our house have peaked crests because they are always on the watch, twitching their heads back and forth, ready to get away from a predator.
We live in a wooded area so we have many different kinds of birds around us. We have been enjoying a Carolina Chickadee feed her babies out back. We can watch her from our dining room window. The babies are in a little house, so we can’t see them yet. At first the mother went inside the house to feed them. She now stands at the door. I saw a large bird about the size of a robin land on the rope that holds her house. Being a little bird didn’t matter. That mother bird went after the big bird and chased it away! Today I was delighted to see a Baltimore Oriole out my front kitchen window. They are so beautiful.
I am going to make a card with a cardinal on it with thoughts of Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal who lost their chick. Be looking for it in the near future.
The article I skimmed to find the information about the cardinal’s crest looks like a good read. If you are interested in birds and want to learn about the cardinal, you might be interested in reading this. I will include the link to the site here.
Bye for now,
The Cardinal Experience.com
Isn’t he beautiful?
Such a sweet little bird and a nurturing mother. I need to know more about this guy.