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.