Friday, October 26, 2012

Pretty Bird, Don't Fly Away

I'm from Ontario and my sister lives in Georgia. For us, cardinals are common. I remember walking the dog through the streets of my hometown early in the morning, even in winter, and hearing the distinctive voice of a male cardinal from a nearby tree. When we visit my sister, we listen to the cardinals as we sit outside in the morning drinking coffee. At Disneyworld last March, as we walked out of our resort early, early in the morning to catch our shuttle bus back to the airport, a cardinal serenaded us.
But here in Nova Scotia, there are no cardinals. At least not traditionally. In the past few years, there have been sightings in the Valley, and I think someone saw a cardinal in Amherst and in Wallace. Every report of a cardinal, my husband would say, "They're coming. I know they're coming."
I don't know why a man who loves ospreys and eagles is so keen on having cardinals at our feeders but he is. He's enjoyed them in Ontario, Georgia and Florida, but he's been disappointed every winter that no cardinals had shown up yet. Evening grosbeaks and pine grosbeaks are regular guests, and once, a painted bunting during the summer, but that's as exotic as our birds have been.
But now it appears his dream has come true.
"Come up here quietly and slowly," Mum called downstairs from her in-law suite the other day. So up we crept to see this lovely lady eating off the balcony my mother uses as a giant bird feeder:



"I knew they'd come," my husband whispered softly. "I knew it."
My mother promptly drove off to Truro to buy safflower seeds, the cardinals' preference. She's going to have to get a job just to support her seed habit. 
No sign of a male yet. Three days and he hasn't shown up. We remain hopeful.
Lots of blue jays, though. They must like having their picture taken because they pose where I can shoot them through the glass. 




11 comments:

  1. Hi there. As I sit here writing this to you a Cardinal is eating away outside the window, I to love Cardinals. But this past Friday I saw a bird here in Toronto, that I have waited along time to see. My wife and I came upon an adult Saw-Whet Owl out in a city park. This was the first time as birders that we had ever seen a Saw-Whet Owl. Fortunately, we had our camera with us and got some good pictures and video. We have posted them for anyone interested at: http://frametoframe.ca/photo-essay-northern-saw-whet-owl-sighting

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations on your sighting! What is it about owls that makes a sighting of them so wonderful? Their elusiveness, I suppose, and those spellbinding eyes.
    Thanks for getting in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment is long past your blog post date but I just came across it while looking for cardinal information. I live in Blandford on the south shore of NS and as of October 2012 we have our very first cardinal. One lonely male and that's all we've seen since his appearance. He's been around since Oct 28.. then disappeared for a while. He would make a quick morning appearance when the seeds are gone from the day before..so he would leave. The last couple of days he has been here each day though! Still all by himself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beaver Brook NS, just outside of Truro, and our yard and feeders have been graced by a cadinal couple for the past couple of months. Such a delightful gift to see them each day!! We are hoping they wil choose to nest here, and start a family!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your comments! I'm jealous of your cardinals -- our female left after a few days and did not return. No male has ever been sighted. But we live in hope that she liked what she saw (a bounty of food on the upper deck) and she'll return, with friends.

    ReplyDelete
  6. just a note, we live in north river just outside truro and just noticed that we had two cardinals at our feeder a male and a female.. my wife was sooo excited.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Today! How exciting. When we visit Florida or Georgia, it's such a lovely moment to hear a cardinal's song. Listen for me, will you?
    Thanks for writing and enjoy the cardinals. Lucky you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ive had a pair here in Truro for past couple months. Was always jealous of ON for having Cardinals

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello, we have just moved back to dartmouth Nova Scotia after being away for approx 15 years in Ottawa. Apparently the a nesting pair of cardinals has followed us back. They have been visiting our feeder in the back yard since March

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are very lucky! After that one appearance, we've not seen another cardinal male or female. I do know we have an issue with our cat who insists on going outside. I'll be writing a post soon about our attempt at preventing her from killing any more birds. Either that, or my mother is going to kill her!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've been an avid nature lover all my life , and hope to see my first sighting of a cardinal here in Cape Breton. Hope their range eventually spreads to this part of the province. If anyone has been so lucky to see one, I'd be interested in reading it on this post. The cardinal is truly a sight to see as I've seen in Ontario and the U.S.

    ReplyDelete