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|OTHER WILD BIRD STORIES
Bird Watching Stories
(Go Back to Wild Bird Page Contents)
|» No Barbeque this Summer|
|» Barn Swallow "Mama"|
|» Just How Does a Bird Eat Bees?|
|» My Birdwatching Adventures in Costa Rica|
|» Four Birds in One Tree: A Few Days of Birdwatching in England|
|» Four Calling Birds???|
|» A Very Unique Cardinal|
|» The Last Companion Carolina Paroquet|
|» The Ever-Popular Chickadee|
|» Convergent Evolution: Meadowlark and Longclaw|
|» Barrel Cactus Confrontation|
|» Mesmerizing a Goldfinch|
|» The Best Mimic?|
|» Mob Mentality: Who is Really in Control of the Skies?|
|» The Owl Who Sat Down Beside Me|
|» Meeting Hot Shot: The Toddler Peregrine Falcon|
|» Seeing 'Sea Parrots'
|» Prairie Chickens and Woodcocks
|» A Rare and Unusual Bird
Meeting Roger Tory Peterson
|» Raven Showoffs|
|» Reddish Egrets a nd Canopy Feeding|
| » Robins and Worms
Hear, See, Smell, or Feel?
|» Hospital Hallucinations|
|» Wild Bird "Attacks": Just Misunderstandings?|
|» Drunken Waxwings and an Unusual Hummingbird Feeder|
|» Aransas in the Fog:
|» Acorn Woodpecker Defending its Stash|
|» Why Woodpeckers Don't Get Headaches: Built in Shock Absorber|
|FICTION: WHY IS THE MALE CARDINAL RED?|
| by Sally Blanchard (copyrighted 2011)
At one time the male and female cardinals looked pretty much the same. They were both kind of a light reddish brown color. The only real difference was that the male had a blacker face than the hen.
One year when Spring came early, everything started to bloom. Grasses were shaking off the brown of winter and turning green. Color was beginning to peek out of the buds on trees and shrubs. Colorful crocus and daffodil flowers dotted the landscape and forsythia branches embraced with yellow flowers reached out to the sunshine.
The male cardinal delighted in all of this splendor and wanted to tell the whole world that Spring was here. He flew from branch to branch and sang out, "pretty, pretty, pretty, what cheer, what cheer!" He became the town crier and because of the cardinal's song, everyone for miles knew it was Spring and shared in the cardinal's enthusiasm.
But the next day, snow once again blanketed the landscape and covered the brightly colored flowers. Tiny icicles hung from the emerging tree buds and bowed the forsythia branches. He was no longer the joyous announcer of Spring. Jays scolded him and mockingbirds mocked his calls with a slight edge of sarcasm. Even the normally cheerful chickadees commented on his mistake by mobbing him and criticized him with their "dee dee dee." As the cardinal made his way through the neighborhood more and more of the local birds and animals made fun of him. He was too early in announcing Spring and he blushed with so much embarrassment that he turned forever red.