The Cardinal Came To Visit Us This Weekend…

Nope, not THAT Cardinal!

We have a family of cardinals that live in a nearby tree. They like to drop by every day for the sunflower seeds we put out during the winter.

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After missing a few opportunities, we started leaving the camera by the window. When I heard the cardinal Saturday (pictured left) I grabbed the camera for a rare photo shoot. πŸ˜‰

He was looking for left over seeds from the Ferris Wheel Feeder that was tipped over and left draining after the previous day’s rain.

You might have seen the Ferris Wheel Feeder video that I posted after the last snow storm.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAIf you follow me on twitter, you might recognize the image on the right. It’s the very first picture I took of the cardinals in my neighborhood. It was a huge surprise for me to discover we had cardinals in South Philly. Seriously, I’ve lived in (or around) Philadelphia all my life. I have never seen a cardinal in the city.

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This last picture is my favorite from Saturday. The border around the image was not added. I was shooting the cardinal through some house plants. I also had the blinds down because I was trying not to scare the cardinal away. The final result is pretty cool.

There are some superstitions surrounding birds that appear after the death of a loved one. Some believe that birds “sometimes appear as envoys from the spirit world β€” fleeting emissaries of loved ones who have passed on to the other side.” I like that idea. It would be nice to think that my friend Fran was just dropping by to say hello. Most likely, it was just a member of a family of cardinals picking through the debris, looking for sunflower seeds to feed his family. Either way, it was nice to see him.

As the adage goes, it’s the little things in life that sometimes make you the happiest. For me it’s true. I may not win the Powerball anytime soon, but as long as the cardinal comes to visit once in a while, I’ll be happy.

Oh, and I took a short video too! πŸ™‚

Cardinal

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.

Female Cardinal perched in front of the Ferris Wheel bird feeder. (yellow)

Female Cardinal perched in front of the Ferris Wheel bird feeder. (Pardon the bad focus.)

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.”

Mr. Cardinal looking down upon us mere mortals from his rooftop TV antenna perch. His glare is reeking of judgement. ;p

Mr. Cardinal looking down upon us mere mortals from his rooftop TV antenna perch. His glare reeks of judgement. ;p

  • 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.