For over a week now, I’ve had a visitor every morning.
I should note that, ordinarily, I don’t entertain guests in the wee morning hours but this one was rather insistent and didn’t seem to be interested at all in socially acceptable visiting hours.
She’s a tawny little cardinal bird and so explicably round and cute. She likes to sit among the branches of the crepe myrtle outside my bedroom window and stare inside, chirping quizzically as she flits from branch to branch. Sometimes she’ll hop up on the protective mesh covering the window and seem to wonder how to get inside.
In the most recent few days, she’s been joined by a male cardinal and the two will hang out around my window for the majority of the morning. At first I thought these visits were flukes as I didn’t even have a bird feeder out at the time but I’m beginning to think these visits are going to be a pleasant new fixture of my mornings.
I assume that she’s trying to find a safe location for a nest and thinks the space between my window panes and mesh barrier is the perfect place. Mrs. Cardinal is not wrong, but she’s going to have difficulty getting in there considering I can’t even get it down.
With every visit from my new feathered friends, I’m reminded of the beliefs surrounding cardinals. They’re said to be messengers from Heaven, sent by those we’ve lost before.
I dug into the history of the mythology of cardinals and it seems the little snow birds are bestowed with a litany of titles and meanings but many seem to come back to something in a spiritual capacity, especially involving ancestors.
It’s especially important to note because it was around this time of year that I reflect on the loss of my grandpa as he passed away in March four years ago now. We never saw many cardinals until he passed, but now we seem to see them visiting our yard with frequency. I like to think they’re his little messengers sent to check on us.
I took the time to put together some amenities for the cardinal family, hoping they’d stick around longer and have reliable access to food close at hand for when spring rolls in and they need more resources for themselves and their new additions. Besides, I can’t have them going hungry.
A shepherd’s hook is now stationed around their spot with a hopper bird feeder – I read they prefer those – and they’ve been making good use of it so far. I pored over the ingredient labels of various bags of food before deciding on the seed mix I got – it promises to have nutrients for all sorts of things they need.
I look forward to seeing them every morning, I just hope that they’ll stick around awhile.
Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.