It’s snowing today. It’s not sticking to the ground. It’s more of a wet snow. …okay, it’s rain.
A sound from the back of the house drew me to the kitchen. It was a bird call I’ve heard before, but couldn’t identify. From the volume of the twittering song, it sounded really close. But I couldn’t see it.
Like many of the houses in South Philadelphia, ours has a small, paved over area we affectionately call our “Back Yard.” This is a misnomer of course, because the only grass to be found is the bits of sprouted bird seed left over after the squirrels are finished raiding the bird feeders.
Our “back yard” has an awning which hangs over our south facing kitchen windows. The awning’s supports make a convenient perch for birds to find shelter from inclement weather. They also have the added benefit of positioning those birds right outside our kitchen window. If the kitchen lights are off, and the blinds aren’t open too wide, we have a front row seat to the soap opera that is a day in the life of the Sparrows and the Finches.
Occasionally, during sweeps week, we are graced with the presence of a member of the Cardinal family. Usually it’s the female.
So I’m looking out the back door for this illusive bird. I’m moving slowly and quietly because I don’t want to scare it away. Love asks, “What are you doing?”
“I’m looking for the bird that’s singing. It’s in the back yard, but I can’t find it.”
“It’s the Cardinal,” he says. “I can see it from here. It’s under the awning.”
It’s not that I hadn’t thought to look out the window, I had. I just didn’t want to risk frightening it away by adjusting the blinds.
Sure enough, there he was in all his scarlet glory, happily singing away. Love opened the blinds a little wider, carefully so as not to scare the bird away. The cardinal stopped momentarily to assess the situation. He looked at us, then down at the empty feeder, back at us, then began singing again. “He’s looking for seeds.” said Love. “He’s not singing. He’s complaining that it’s raining, he flew all this way expecting to get a bite to eat, but the diner is closed.”
- The above picture was taken last year. I was pleasantly surprised to see cardinals living among us in the city. He is one of the reasons we provide seeds for birds in the winter.
- It’s interesting to note that we don’t get pigeons at our feeder. The sparrows chase them away. Sparrows may be small, but they’re pretty aggressive.
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