Today, it’s cloudy and cold with little hope for sunshine. The Christmas tree is nearly down and packed away, and the red dirt kids returned to school. I took a hot tea break at my kitchen table and watched the birds having their morning snack.
My winter favorites are the acrobatic Cardinals. All throughout the Christmas season, I kept seeing Cardinals on everything in sight. On ornaments, sweaters, note cards, and china plates, the Cardinals, embroidered, painted and sequeined, gazed contentedly from various surfaces.
The real deal looks a bit watchful and perturbed. Who can blame her? It’s cold, and she’s trying to eat.
Although I enjoyed seeing their copied forms, the real ones visiting the feeders on the back deck cheered my post-holiday heart.
A few facts courtesy of National Geographic’s website.
- Cardinals live an average of fifteen years.
- They are about the size of a teacup. No wonder I love them.
- The males can be very territorial and aggressive. Have windows? A cardinal will soon be fighting with his reflection in the spring. However, right now, in the midst of winter, they are co-mingling around the feeder. I guess food makes everyone get along better.
- Both males and females sing.
If you’d like to hear some of the many Cardinals’ songs, just go to the National Geographic’s page on these wonderful birds, where they have recorded several.
It’s like a tiny taste of spring.