Sunday, December 18, 2011

One legged cardinal

                                                                          photo, Diane Carnevale

Male cardinals are so pretty in the landscape with their bright red jackets and tend to get all the oohs and aahs at the bird feeders, but the female cardinals are quite pretty too, with their modest red feathers. Both the male and female sport mysterious black bandit masks and have punky red plumed mohawks. This particular lady is very special because she has only one leg—notice that there is not indication of a left leg in this photo. I only noticed this oddity because she flaps her wings a lot to keep her balance on the feeders. I'm not sure what happened to the leg; a cat perhaps, or was she born that way? This is her second year with us and since cardinals live up to 15 years we hope to see her for years to come. Oh and in case you ever wondered, early settlers in America named this bird after the red-robed Cardinals of the Catholic Church.

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