I Love Birds

I love birds. They are so full of life, and we learn so much from them. I have a whole family living in my Blue Spruce tree again this winter, and I think they are Mockingbirds again. I had Mockingbirds two years in a row, but the following year, they didn’t come. Then this past year, I had Cardinals nesting there, and now (I think) another family of Mockingbirds — but I can’t tell for sure. Anyway, this group of pictures is a collage of several kinds of winged friends who came to visit today when I shared a box of crackers.  What fun.


My Own Personal Cardinal


This picture isn’t super clear, but this little guy just never holds still.  Often he’s on my front porch, sitting on the banister, but if I even try to slip out the door to get a picture, he’s gone before I get the door open. However, the other day, I was sitting on my porch with my camera ready, and he stopped a while in the yard. Even then, he did not hold completely still. This is the bird that inspired my poem “A Cardinal Sits With Me,” which I posted in February.

I wanted his picture, not only because he’s one of the most beautiful cardinals I’ve seen (my photo doesn’t do him justice), but also because I think he and his wife have built a nest in my huge blue spruce tree. The tree is so thick I can’t see for sure if the nest is there, but they go in and out of the branches and act like they are living there, so I’m pretty sure they are. A few years ago I had a mockingbird build a nest in that tree, and she returned a couple more years as well. But I haven’t seen any mockingbirds this spring yet.

This cardinal also reminds me of the novel A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg.  I enjoy that book so much that I read it once a year — although not always at Christmas time.  It is a lovely story and a happy read — just in case a few of you are interested.

A Cardinal Sits With Me

CARDINAL - HOLLINGSWORTH - BFPA Cardinal sits with me at end of day.
It is a bleak, unhappy time,
And I have lost my way.

He seems content to stay a while and rest,
And my front porch is cool with shade,
Sun moving to the west.

On other days I’ve seen him flit and fly
And labor quite industriously
For food that caught his eye.

And then he’d pick at wings and clean and preen,
Then dart away and back again,
Quite nervous did he seem.

He’d change his stance and cock head constantly,
Not holding still a moment long;
He agitated me.

But, suddenly, this eve he’s come to sit.
As if he knows my sorrowful plight —
That I am in this pit.

And now and then he sings aloud his song.
But when he stops to rest a while,
For much more do I long.

I’m sure his day is done; he should head home,
But here he sits beside my chair,
Just so I’m not alone.

His beauty, I have finally come to see,
Is unsurpassed: his ruby hue,
Wings black-edged perfectly.

In truth he is a masterpiece of life:
Each part of him a sculptor’s dream,
Down to his beady eye.

A good half hour he’s stayed and felt at home.
And looks right at me now and then,
To say, “You’re not alone.”

I sigh and realize I am content.
I close my eyes; begin to smile.
This is what Jesus meant.

He urged us to behold the birds of air,
And take a lesson from each one
About His love and care.

“Yes, Jesus, I’m at peace in You at last.
This little bird you sent to me
Has now fulfilled his task.

So take care of him, Lord and keep him strong,
And send him out to other souls
Who need to hear his song.”

Then opening my eyes, I seek my friend.
But he has flown while I have prayed —
His mission at an end.

[“Look at the birds of the air! They don’t worry about what to eat — they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food — for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” Matt. 6:26 TLB).]

“Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t worry! You are more valuable to Him than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:30-31, TLB).]