Beau December 5th, 2008
I’ve never seen the pond frozen this early in December before. January and February are the coldest months for us, but waking up to about 16 degrees this morning was downright chilly. The jet stream is so far south that we’re getting a good bit of that Canadian air this month. There’s a reason I don’t live in Canada in the winter… I can only imagine how much colder it is up there!
So there I am, after the morning routine and getting the boy off to school, finally sitting down with a cup of coffee. My reverie was short-lived, nearly spilling the coffee all over myself after a loud “Whump!” on the window behind me. I looked out to see a dazed female Cardinal sitting below the window, her head slowly nodding with eyes closed. I hoped she was not permanently injured, but I also knew she would either die by a) freezing to death after going into shock from the impact in such cold weather, or b) become breakfast for our wandering cat Princess.
So out I go, picking her up and taking her to the porch which was a little warmer at 40 degrees. I set her down in the sunshine and left her alone for an hour, head still nodding with eyes closed. But it’s the season for miracles and when I came back later she was alert and eyeing me suspiciously.
I figured she’d be okay then but went to pick her up and make sure… Zoom! around the room she goes. She wasn’t quite ready to acquiesce to such human manhandling. But after a few flutterings at the window and much pecking at me with that orange beak I finally had her, and took her out to the bird feeder where she promptly flew off to a nearby tree. I imagine she’ll have a sore neck for a few days, but hopefully she’ll make it.
It’s a too common theme at this time of year with birds flying into windows. There was another Cardinal in the House one time, but it was a he, near-death, and after spending a night with us, he surprised me by his resilience. I was even more surprised writing about Nuthatch Nuttiness… somehow the outdoor world, birds and flying has always been part of my life. I even worked at the World Bird Sanctuary for a time in my youth, helping to rehabilitate raptors. But that’s another story.