by Myra Karlson
(Nashville, TN, USA)
Red in his tree
Today is April 8, 2014. September 2012, I noticed a male cardinal pecking at my transom window.
There is a tree outside my window about 10 feet away. I'm on the high side of the house and I have a view of the 1/3 of the tree above the trunk. So, I have a birds-eye view.
My facebook friends have named him Red. Red is beautiful. He's very tenacious and very active. Having watched him for so long, I see he has a personality. He's absolutely fascinating.
Realizing he had made his home in this tree, I put a bird feeder under the tree. However, he does not eat from it but, many other birds do.
Sometimes I see him on the ground eating fallen seeds. I believe he always ate from the back feeders and old habits are hard to break so he goes to the back to eat.
I have about 12 or 13 cardinals in the backyard, male and female. No doubt they are all related. I'm sure his parents are there with his siblings and his children. The group keeps growing.
For a year and 4 months, the pecking went on all day. He would fly to the window and attack his reflection and fly back to the tree. My desk is right in front of the window.
One day instead of seeing himself in the window, he saw me. From that day forward, he would fly to the window, stand on the ledge and duck down behind the window sash and peek over at me.
This went on all day back and forth to the window ledge and back to the tree playing hide and seek with me.
This past January some blue jays ran him off. They hung around for a couple of months. Every time he came to the tree they would run him off.
One day the blue jays disappeared and Red came back and reclaimed his tree. He no longer fly's to the window, but I see him all day long in and out of the tree eye level to me.
Last year he disappeared two or three times for about 3 weeks. A visit here and there to the tree. I finally figured out he was mating.
When mating season was over, he's back full time. He mated recently and I saw him and his mate, who I named Molly, in the tree sitting together and on the ground eating together.
She comes around every now and then, but not very much. Today, at the bird feeder, I saw three young male cardinals. They don't have all their color yet, but I know they are his. That was such an exciting moment for me.
I have been posting for a year and half Red's photos, videos and Red stories on Facebook. Every so often, I give updates. Red has a FB following now of about 30 of my friends. Everyone loves my Red stories.
He's become one our family. From what I have read, this is his territory and he will most likely live out his life here.
I live in Nashville and he stays here year round. That's my awesome cardinal, Red! I hope you enjoyed our story.
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