When I saw this I thought that it might be a nice time to tip my hat to the Arizona Cardinals for their part in an exciting Super Bowl XLIII, show a little gratitude for a break in the bitter cold and take a look at a common winter bird in Michigan.
All About Birds has some facts about the Northern Cardinal:
Population density and range of the Northern Cardinal has increased over the last 200 years, largely as a response to habitat changes made by people. However, it is listed as a species of special concern in California and may disappear there because of habitat loss.
The female Northern Cardinal sings, often from the nest. The song may give the male information about when to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.
The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder. (I know I do that all the time too)
Since the male gets all the press and the helmet and ball-cap royalties, it’s probably good that I’m featuring the female. You can see more photos of cardinals male, female and St. Louis from the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr and Beth has a bunch of cardinal photos as well (slideshow)! You can also purchase some of her photos at her Etsy store.
A day and then a week passed by:
The redbird hanging from the sill
Sang not: and all were wondering why
It was so still-
When one bright morning, loud and clear,
Its whistle smote my drowsy ear,
Ten times repeated, til the sound
Filled every echoing niche around;
And all things earliest loved by me,
The bird, the brook, the flower, the tree,
Came back again, as thus I heard
The cardinal bird.
-William Davis Gallagher