Friday, August 15, 2008

The Care and Feeding of Cardinals

As I held the dazed female cardinal on my hand, my sister (H.B.) captured the moment on digital film. The bird had flown against the glass and knocked itself unconscious, for what reasons I can only guess. Male cardinals usually display such behavior during courting season when they mistake their reflection in the glass for a rival bird. However, it's not courting season and that's not a jealously aggressive male cardinal.

Perhaps, having spotted her doppelganger, she rushed forward to embrace the other side of herself, the domesticated cardinal bird who lives in glass houses. Perhaps she just wanted my attention and knew how best to get noticed. I certainly kept an eye out for her the rest of the day, which is how I know something that will surprise you.

Papa Cardinal, who had hovered anxiously while I held Mama Bird, stayed close to her side for the rest of the day. Each time they visited the bird feeder that day it was together -- except during the first few hours of her recovery. Once she had recovered enough to fly from my hand this female cardinal perched (out of reach of human and cat) on the deck railings, while her mate flew to the feeder, bringing back choice seeds for her in his beak. With care and concern he let her sit still, and he fed her.

1 comment:

  1. That is so sweet! How awesome that you got to see that! I'll have to tell you my hawk and dove story sometime. I'm an avid bird watcher. I used to keep a diary of the birds that visit our yard, but I got to busy to maintain it. Now I just watch them out my windows and occasionally grab my camera when I see a newcomer.


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