17 March 2018

Why do we call this bird a cardinal?

Sitting in the patio, sipping some hot coffee, on this cool and rainy morning, it was a sheer pleasure watching all the cardinal couples flying around from branch to branch and the bird feeders. This particular one was sitting in the wet branch about ten yards away from me.

That got me wondering whether there is a reason we call this pretty red bird a cardinal. This is what I found – and this goes back to the days when the European settlers came to this country. This bright colored bird was new to them and it apparently reminded them of the bright red robes worn by Catholic Cardinals back home when they performed their religious duties. Further, the pronounced plumage on the head reminded them of the high headgear worn by the same Cardinals.

And that is how they named this bird a cardinal … and it has stuck…

11 March 2018

The unhappy cardinal

The cardinal was mighty suspicious of the spotted towhee that landed too close to its nest for its comfort.
The picture was taken with a DSLR from about fifteen yards away. The light was poor (only some sunset rays trickling in thru the forests) and I had to deal with the fact that the shot had to be taken thru two upright bars of the patio (you can see the white blur on either side). I dared not stand up to get a better shot lest the birds fly away…

31 January 2018

It was the pink color that got our attention first…

The moment our car emerged from our property and turned east on the dirt road, Niki and I noticed the rich pink color in the sky thru the trees. We pulled forward for a couple of hundred yards where the trees started clearing up and was immediately faced with the usage of a riot of colors. We could see yellow, orange and pink. Then there was sky blue and dark blue. Crisp, cold morning.

The sight was ephemeral though. Three minutes later, as we came to the end of the dirt road, we noticed that the distinctly pink color was gone and had changed to bright orange!