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.