Jan 10, 2010

Cardinal Memories

I was walking down the street to catch the bus when I heard a clear and simple call from a bird. Unlike many other bird calls that are comprised of two sounds at once, this one seemed simple enough for a person to accurately imitate it. So I did. I looked up and on the street lamp there was a bright red cardinal singing his heart out. He and I played tag with the call for a few moments--then the bus driver was honking, and I was running. He probably made some kind of completely inappropriate remark, and then let me sit on the engine cover and open the door for other kids. I was eight, and I lived in Northern Florida: seat belts were still not law, and politically correct was not only unheard of, but it probably still hasn't been in that neighborhood. So, I worked the door mechanism, and whistled my Cardinal Call. I still know it.

When I saw these guys at Pinnacle Mountain I remembered that day. We don't have Cardinals here in Utah, with the bright red on the males and muted colors of the females. We also don't have whatever this other guy is. Anyone care to venture and identify him?

I promise, it was the wind ruffling his feathers, not the photographer.


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