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Posts Tagged ‘sparrow’

God, they are SOOOooo beautiful!  I don’t know what it is about Cardinals that really turns me on.  I am enraptured by their beauty, their markings, their brilliant color.  Not really overly-religious, however, I look at these birds and wonder why they were created in this manner.  Why are they so strikingly red? Why do they mate for a year?  There is a myth that Cardinals mate for life and in a way that could be true since the average life expectancy of a Cardinal is about a year.  I am saddened to learn this fact.  I thought the Cardinals that return to our feeder year after year were the same couple nesting nearby.  And speaking of couples, that is another reason I love these birds so much;  When you see a female Cardinal eating, you can be sure that the male is not far away.  He is always on the lookout for predators.

Today we have several photos of male and female Cardinals who dwell in Central Park.  They may be birds just like Sparrows, Nuthatches and Chickadees but really check out the attitude and demeanor, these Cardinals have great expressions.

Deep in thought

Deep In Thought

Now Where Did He Go?

Now Where Did He Go?

i Can See A Lot From Here

i Can See A Lot From Here

This Is A Good Hair Day

This Is A Good Hair Day

Really, We Have Nothing In Common

Really, We Have Nothing In Common

Three Red Cardinals

Three Red Cardinals

A Christmas Card Cardinal

A Christmas Card Cardinal

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

 

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I’ve been living in New York City for a long time and I admit that I don’t spend a lot of time in Central Park. So when I heard a beautiful bird song the other day, I stopped dead in my tracks.  It was a clear sweet sound and then it abruptly changed.  A lyrical trilling followed and then a distinct chirping… I couldn’t believe my ears but it sure sounded like a Mockingbird. Further investigation into a bush-like tree along the sidewalk and sure enough it was a Mockingbird; Peter and I saw the long tail and watched the little throat pulsate and the beak move as this lovely bird sang out.

What a great thrill it was and a surprise too!  Of course I know there are birds in New York City and those that read this blog steadily know I have posted many photos of birds taken by my friend Murray Head. He has shot photos of all kinds of birds from Egrets to Warblers, from Hawks (probably Pale Male) to Herons and Buntings to Thrushes. BUT those pictures are taken in Central Park where wildlife abounds and this was outside an office!

Anyway, this little ornithological treat got me to thinking about birds in Manhattan and I remembered something very, very interesting.

Several years ago, I was waiting on a corner  to cross the street when I heard a bird chirping and it sounded like it was right above me and it was.  I looked up and there sat a bird on the crosspiece pipe of a street lamp.  As I watched, the bird hopped to the end of the pipe and then disappeared inside the hole at the end.  What??? Yes! The bird went into the pipe.  I waited and soon the bird reappeared and took off but there were still chirps coming out of the pipe.  Amazing I thought.  A bird had built a nest inside the pipe where it was really safe from marauders and other dangers.  Wow, Mother Nature and the little sparrow’s survival skills were pretty impressive.

I mentioned it to Peter and he told me that he had seen this urban phenomena many times.  After that incident, I kept my ears open for the sound of birds on street corners and over and over again I did see birds housing themselves on City property.  Bird squatters I guess.  These spunky little Sparrows found a home in urban New York City.  It’s not that we don’t have lots and lots of tree-lined side streets because we do and I would guess there are bird’s nests in them but I’ve never seen one  and we have a LOT of street lights!!

Manhattan street light, New York City, sparrow nest

Home Sweet Home

Think about this; not only is the bird really protected from the elements in his little pipe house, there’s usually a trash can on every corner so I’m sure there is fairly endless supply of food crumbs for the picking as well as nest-building materials.  Just goes to show you how adaptable living creatures can be to their environment.  You do what you gotta do to survive wherever you are and whoever you are…reminds of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse.

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