The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cardinal in Red Vestments

I'm sure it's apparent from a number of my earlier posts that I truly enjoy our local bird population here in Central Florida. A remarkable number of large birds inhabit our neighborhood. On any given morning or evening, while out walking with our dog, Maddie, I might encounter egrets, bald eagles, osprey, herons, ibises, anhingas, hawks, owls, and more.

I have to admit, though, I probably enjoy our songbirds the most. It's hard not to be cheered by their pre-dawn singing as I walk along with Maddie, wondering what I'm doing strolling through the streets in the semi-darkness. As it turns out, I'm enjoying the songs of our local birds. (Maddie demands two long walks daily, one early and another late.)

Perhaps the most common of our local songbirds are the northern mocking birds. They're also our most active singers, and living up to their name, will often sing ten or twenty different songs in rapid succession, mimicking the other birds and sounds that they hear. Brown thrushes are another common songbird in the area, and they too mimic other birds.

But my favorite is the cardinal. How can you not like this most obvious of songbirds? The male's bright red coloring and rapid-fire song is a true attention-grabber. We have many cardinals in our neighborhood and, in fact, this spring a cardinal couple made a nest in one of the shrubs right outside our front door. By the time I realized they were there, the little ones had hatched and were about ready to leave the nest.

Yesterday afternoon, as I relaxed on the lanai reading and rubbing Maddie's tummy, I heard a cardinal's telltale call and there he was, sitting on a cable box in our backyard. He was about 30 feet away but the telephoto lens did its job fairly well. Here's the bird.
Local Cardinal

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