So. I had a fucking crap day. It’s all good, but it was like someone was throwing rotten vegetables at me all day and I had to duck and dodge and deal with all these unexpected erruptions. I kind of surprised myself when I got home by grabbing a beer and the nocs and heading out to the back yard. I’m kind of pleased that I found myself backyard birdwatching for relaxation. It’s something I’m really growing to enjoy!
When I had pulled into the driveway a hawk that’s been hanging out in our yard lately swooped my car, so I headed towards the copse of trees I thought he had landed in to try to find him. I didn’t see My Hawk, but I did see one of the little lady cardinals that usually hang out at the bird feeder. As I am prone to do, I whispered, ‘Hello Mrs. Cardinal!’, and watched her for a bit through my binoculars. Then I realized that Mrs. Cardinal doesn’t have an orange beak. It’s black. Hunh?! So I Sibley’d (Hey, if ‘Google’ is a verb now…) Cardinals and found that juvenile’s have black beaks until they come into their own and get orange beaks. So I’ve now met Young Cardinal!
I looked for more movement in the trees. I saw my little girl again, then heard something shuffling in the leaves under the trees. Probably a squirrel, but I’ll take a look. At the base of the trees was the ugliest cutest cardinal I’ve ever seen! His beak was shades of black and grey with orange at the base. His coloring was so mottled he looked like he had been painted by Jackson Pollack if he had had an ugly grey and red phase. This bird was so awkward and looked so much like the teenager that he is!
I know I get overly excited about these things, but I’m so stoked to have a whole family of Cardinals living in my trees! I hope I can catch these teens at the feeder this week!