singing for his supper

Day 5: Bird

Happy weekend! It’s beastly hot here today, so the birds seem to be hiding out in shaded, cool places rather than eating. I have yet to see a single bird on my feeders today, so I had to turn to the archives.

As I was paging through photos looking for one to fit today’s theme, I noticed that I seem to write a lot of posts about birds. Have you noticed this? Just in the last week, there were two bird-related posts (weekend wildlife and another look). And the topics those days weren’t even bird related!

I love watching the birds. And I love the sound of birds singing. My dad taught me to love birds. Last time I was home, we sat on the deck, drinking coffee and he identified the birds by their calls. And I asked him how he figured out which bird made which sound. He very casually replied that he chased the birds down until he could see the one making the racket. I smiled, thinking that it was such an obvious answer. But it’s so like my dad, to have the patience to sneak up on a songbird and then to be able to remember which bird made what sound. He’s an avian expert in my book.

I’m just barely learning my songs. And I still have to get out my pocket-sized bird identification guide from time to time. We have three feeders and we get a respectable number of finches and sparrows. There are fat mourning doves and very rarely, a nuthatch. But my favorite visitor, hands down, is Mr. Cardinal.

I don’t often see him, because he eats late in the day, at dusk or when it’s just barely light out. He is sometimes accompanied by Mrs. Cardinal, though it’s been awhile since she’s come around.

I think cardinals are the bee’s knees. What’s not to love? Awesomely melodious song? Check. Kick-ass red coloring? Check. Super cool mohawk feathers? Check.

I suspect that cardinals are the confident, take-charge birds in the bird world. They’re the ones who don’t take crap from anyone, and when they speak, other birds listen. They aren’t nasty like bluejays or whiny like mourning doves, and they are definitely more assertive than finches. They’re the ones who fly into a room and get noticed. No matter what’s going on, they are effortlessly cool and collected.

Do you have a favorite bird?

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