Stately Winged in Carolina

The Stately and Lovely Northern Cardinal

In the first weeks of Spring, a female Cardinal started visiting my backyard.  She liked the fallen seeds below our bird feeder.  

Within days of her arrival, she had two bright and very handsome red suitors.

I watched for weeks as the two male Cardinals chased her through the edge of the woods, swooping from branch to branch, stopping momentarily to show off their plumage or grab the best perching seat.

The female Cardinal appeared to enjoy the chase.  From where I stood, her future looked pretty good.

I don’t know which of the two males finally got her attention, but on Mother’s Day, I was delighted when just before Dusk, I walked outside to catch the last of daylight and heard a symphony of unfamiliar sounds.  

I thought at first the frenzy was normal dinner-time excitement in the backyard.  I soon suspected something more special was going on out there.  And it was!

A female Cardinal was feeding a fledgling!  I could barely make out the color of the little bird, but I sure heard it, and siblings too! 

I felt a surge of delight.

Slowly, I walked a little closer to a nearby briar patch where the loud and persistent cries were coming from.  I hoped for a photograph.

A bright male Cardinal flew across the yard, landing clear on the other side.  I’m pretty sure he was asking me not to get one step closer to his family.  I returned to the view from my deck.

The cries of the young birds moved me.  Although, the fledglings made lots of noise, I had a feeling their tweets were more a communication of location and confident awaiting, rather than ones of unmet needs.  

The mother was surely capable of providing and proving as much to her new children!  She looked well-fed and strong, yet when she bent over to offer her little one a bit of food, it was with an amazing gentleness. 

My heart was struck with love.

I returned inside to give the beautiful family peace and privacy.  I watched from my kitchen window until dark.

What a terrific gift for Mother’s Day!

I’ve seen many beautiful birds so far this Spring, but I must say, like my Winter resident, the American Robin, the Northern Cardinal has captured my heart.

Thank you for visiting dogkisses!

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Lovely post. Gorgeous birds! I have a vivid memory of seeing cardinals in our backyard in the winter. They are so stunning against the white snow. They look great no matter where they travel.

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    • Thanks Rossa! It is always nice to see a comment from you.

      I love seeing the Cardinals in Winter too. One of my favorite paintings is of a Cardinal in the snow. I can’t recall the artist’s name as I write, but the painting is too expensive for me. I just look at my photos, and one day I might get one of the beautiful red male on a snowy day. Just about everywhere you go around here, you see Cardinals.

      Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to my next visit to your blog as well.

      Peace and Happy Summer Days,
      Michelle.

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  2. “I saw my Mom do this”…hahaha!!!

    Loved your story and the pictures! I’ve been going outside more this year, to work in my garden. Each time that a bird chirps from one of my newly planted trees, I think of you.

    Love,
    CZ

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    • Hi CZ!

      I must say I am most delighted whenever you love my stories! You are for sure one of the best writers I know, so your compliment is truly appreciated. I also love that you think of me when you see the beauty in your yard! How very cool! Thank you, and I hope your tree grows tall and healthy!

      Love,
      Michelle.

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  3. I LOVED reading this! Your pictures are gorgeous (as usual) and your writing is the best! I’m sorry to say, I have not seen a family of Cardinals in my yard this year, but I do see our usual visitors. Little wrens, robins and a little black and purple beauty that has a nest under our eaves. I need to find out what type of bird he is, he is quite active and makes a lot of noise.
    xoxoxomo

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    • Oh, how sweet Mo! Thanks so much! I so appreciate your visits to my blog.

      Did you ever buy you a feeder or a birdbath? I bet you would see many birds, and butterflies too. I bought a Verbena (purple trailing kind) and Lantana. They are inexpensive annuals and the butterflies love them! Easy to grow too. Maybe you can plant one of those in your yard.

      I don’t know what bird you might have that is small and purple! I bet it is beautiful! Most birds, I’ve learned, love Sunflower seeds and of course, running water. You probably know how to make one from a jug. Watching birds and butterflies is a great way to escape and is relaxing too.

      Hugs and Love to You!
      xoxoxo Michelle.

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  4. Michelle oh what delight, nesting cardinals which looks so beautiful… And I love the photo of you looking skyward… I so hope that as spring gets warmer where you are that you can enjoy more delightful moments from your kitchen and decking area.. And to be able to witness the fledglings flying their nest…
    Wonderful photo’s Michelle.. I hope soon to be sharing more pictures on the allotments, and I have been given permission to include any photos of my granddaughter too… As we are getting her well and truly into gardening.. and at 2 and a half she is picking things up very fast.. 🙂

    Sending you an extra large Hug to both you and your Son…

    Love and Blessings.. ~Sue xox

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    • Hi Sue!

      Thanks so much for reading my story. I’m glad too that you enjoyed my photos! It took me forever to write, but I sure enjoyed pressing Publish, finally. I don’t know how many drafts I first wrote.

      I hope my son and I both get to move this Summer. It is shady here though, which is nice is Summer. Good now because another bird, I think a Thrush, has babies in my AC! I’m so scared to use it, even though people say it is okay. If I were those tiny chicks in that nest, I don’t think I’d like a motor running under me.

      I look forward to seeing your gardening photos and so happy to hear your sweet and most beautiful grandchild might be in them! I remember her so clearly with the Sunflowers last year! She was incredibly beautiful beside those flowers and that little watering can! 🙂

      I’m trying to get a tag/medical ID so that Ruthie can go to the botanical gardens with me. I miss going and last year I did way too much in the sunshine. I have symptoms of Lupus, mostly a bright red spot on my cheek. I won’t try another Summer of working outside, as I just can’t help but overdo it when I’m near gardens. I do hope to volunteer some though. I always get great photos in all the light at the gardens!

      Sending you lots of love,
      Your friend,
      Michelle xoxoxo

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