The Stately and Lovely
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!
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- Cardinal geometry (michaelqpowell.wordpress.com)
- The Regal Northern Cardinal (birdingnh.com)
- Green Healing ~ The Feeder (dogkisses.wordpress.com)