Like the Robin, The Cardinal is another bird that is a powerful symbol.
This radiant red bird portrays perfect symmetry. Most commonly seen with a stylish spikey haircut on the top of its head, a head that is a brighter red than the rest of the body.
Sporting an orange beak, the rest of its face is covered by a black mask to protect it from the sun, identical to most Goldfinches.
The Cardinal’s head is a more solid red than the rest of the body, which has a touch of grey, looking like a painter’s purposeful brushstroke blended it deep into the red.
Somehow through the striking redness, these birds seem to disappear into the green canopy of the bushes.
I often spot a pair in the forest frolicking for fun. The teams are similar and different at the same time. One is the standard red Cardinal that was described already. The other is grey or the Northern Cardinal with a tinge of red, identifiable as a Cardinal because of the signature black mask, orange beak, and spikey hair-do.
There is also an individual short stout red Cardinal around Walden Pond, and this particular bird does not have spikey hair. However, the day I spotted this one, there was significant rainfall, so it is possible that it was wet.
The Cardinal makes a unique noise consisting of four fast short tweets followed by three longer, slower ones.
The whole red Cardinal, like the Oriole and the Blue jay, brings a colour that is not native to the green tree lines and bushes and provides a rush of colour to Walden’s wildlife.