Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Northern Cardinals: A Winter Story

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science, Nature, Wildlife, Biodiversity, Behavior

Ed Hessler

Hamline University has a short row of the lovely native shrub, winterberry. I miss my often slow walks past them in winter to appreciate the red against the snow and the various ways, snow accumulates on the branches; not infrequently seeing cardinals. Red on red. This shrub really attracts robins; cardinals when they pass through occasionally stop.

This essay from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's All About Birds, tells us about their color and how it changes throughout the year. Some features of the Laboratory of Ornithology report - it's short - include beginning with a question, evidence not claims, nutritional issues with possible implication for our urban northern cardinals, and a comment on using native plantings.

Here is the Cornell Lab entry on "Bird Friendly Winter Gardens."

This article reminded me that last year shortly before the New Year, I heard a local northern cardinal calling with gusto. What a treat that I happened to be close enough to hear and locate it. I was also glad to hear it because it was in a frequently used trees to announce themselves was very close to a new major construction project. 

I didn't expect to hear another for a month or more. I was right.

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