By Rosie Moore
It is said that “birds of a feather, flock together” but, Ruby, my cardinal friend would rather “flock” alone. I watch his antics outside from my window in the den and they are usually quite amusing. If I tap on the window he will fly away but comes back in a few short minutes.
The cardinal is the only red bird in eastern North America with a crest on his or her head which rises when the bird senses danger. They are not migratory and stay in the same area year-round. Only the male presents itself in the bright colors. The female has grayish shades through her body with duller red wings and tail.
Both male and female sing all year round. It is through a song that females sing from their nest to informs the male when to bring food. They don’t seem to need much sleep so you may hear them singing in the morning before sunrise.
Cardinals are good parents. The male shares in the duties of parenthood with his mate. He protects and cares for the mother and babies until they are safely out of the nest. In the U.S. the cardinal is the official bird of seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
It is illegal to own a cardinal as a pet or to kill one. They are a government protected wild bird species protected by the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. They can live up to fifteen years.
There’s also a rumor going around that if a cardinal visits you it means someone in heaven is thinking of you. I don’t know who sent my cardinal but I’m glad he’s here. Ruby adds a lot of color and happiness to my life.
Thought for the day: “He fills my life with good things.” Psalms 103:5
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