Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My First Cardinal

I found something exciting and new on my most recent hiking trip! As you can see by the photos, it's a bird. It's not just any bird though. It's a Cardinal. These birds are found throughout the western hemisphere.

The male cardinals are known by their vivid red color, just like the one I have here. Females are a grayish brown with a hint of red. Both males and females have a prominent crest on their heads. Cardinals are all very beautiful birds, but the males are the ones most people recognize.

Even though these birds are numerous around here, I have never seen one before. I really never expected to see cardinals when I went out on my hike. This was a wonderful treat for me. I had a good day, and this may have been the highlight.

It has been raining for the last several days here, so it has been difficult to get out and go on a nice relaxing hike. I was still able to do it a few times, but I got soaked along the way. Then Monday we had a break in the bad weather, and the rain stopped for awhile that day.

I went out to Heritage Park as quickly as I could. I knew I would only have this one day. When I got there, I was greeted with the sound of birds singing everywhere I went. The first part of the trail I was on is always full of birds.

I showed you a photo of a bird yesterday that was the first cardinal I saw. It was singing very loudly, so it was easy to find. It seems these birds are noisy little creatures. Their singing was coming from all around me, so there must have been dozens of them.

As I walked along I began watching the trees very closely. The sun began to peek out from behind the clouds in just the right way to make everything very easy to see. I followed the sound of another bird, and I spotted it far up in the tree in these pictures.

I couldn't really see the bird very well with my own eyes. I had to use the camera to see it closer. When I looked into the viewer, I noticed the bright red on the bird. I assumed I was seeing another robin, since they have a rusty orange breast.

I took as many pictures as I could before the light faded a little bit, and the conditions weren't right anymore. It wasn't until I got home that I found out it was a cardinal that I saw out there. I knew most of the birds in that area were the same right then, but it took until I got home to identify them.

There were other birds out there, but I was closest to the cardinals. I even saw a hawk flying around further up the trail, but I couldn't get a picture. I even heard the hawk a few times. The other birds didn't seem to like that sound one bit.

But the cardinal is still my prize for the first part of my hike. It wasn't the only prize I had on that trip. I had quite a few more interesting encounters, and I'll share them in the next few days. Hopefully the rain will stop for a few days so I can find even more exciting things.


Related Posts

12 comments:

  1. Mother Earth had a pair of cardinals that nested outside her living room window every year. The male was still coming when it was so old it's feathers had turned completely white.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a proud looking bird...

    ReplyDelete
  3. They are beautiful birds. I love it when i see them with the blue jays! The contrast between blue and red, beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very cool, Ratty! They sure are beautiful. I saw a lot of them when I lived in A2- we have them here, but they don't seem to come around my yard much. They seem to prefer lawns and suburban (or small town for us) neighborhoods. So I too get excited when I see one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely. I too love the male cardinals because of their fiery red color. It is great to have prizes in our hike.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just like humans...the pretty ones get all the attention. ha
    I love cardinals too. I love the crest on their heads, like the blue jays. I got so excited last year....it was snowing those big, fat slow flakes and BOTH a bluejay and a cardinal were on the same snowy branch outside our deck. I ran to get my camera and they flew off!!!! The red, white and blue would have made a fabulous picture, but it wasn't meant to be.

    ReplyDelete
  7. They are a very timid and shy bird - perhaps because their bright color is always giving them away. Did you get to hear it sing? Once you do you won't forget it's beautiful voice. And you will also be surprised to find that you hear them more than see them - so you may have been in the presence of one many times before!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know how you felt when you saw your first Cardinal! I had the same feeling when I saw mine! SO exhilarating!I was in the Blue Mts. of southern Oregon! Wow, what a sight it was. He was so close, and I without my camera! Darn!
    Here's to the next one!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Enjoy following through your post, get a lot as well from the comments. It is a beautiful part of the world.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mother Goose - It would be amazing to see a white one.
    -

    Kruel - It's the crest on its head that does it.
    -

    Ron Centeno - I've heard that they like blue jays, but I haven't seen that yet. I hope I can get a shot of that one day.
    -

    Sharkbytes - I hope I see more of them. It's one of the most colorful birds I've ever seen.
    -

    Betchai - Prizes like this are extra special. I never expected to see one of these birds.
    -

    The Retired One - That would have been a great picture. At least you got to see them there though.
    -

    KML - I heard many of them. There was at least one whole flock. I found them by following the sounds.
    -

    Anonymous - You know exactly how I felt. Keep looking; I know I will.
    -

    Rainfield - It's the comments that help make the posts good.

    ReplyDelete
  11. He or she is beautiful and it's always so difficult to capture a bird. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jodapoet - I think I got lucky that there were so many of them. That made it easy to get these shots.

    ReplyDelete