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6:08 p.m. - 2007-02-09
Dear Critter Reeders,

Hello and Friday smooches! Do y'all have exciting plans for the weekend?

R and I are really excited to attend the wedding reception of our friends J and SC! They got married in Maui and honeymooned in Australia and New Zealand. J and SC saw TONS of critters; CH and I looked at their photos last weekend at her SuperBowl Partee.

Sunday night we'll be having a B Family Pride dinner, to celebrate R's youngest sister J's SuperDay!

I think I've finally got the photo issue figured out. Let's try it!


This is one of my beautiful Grandmothers, Gram D. Not only has she been a loving and nurturing influence on my life (and my Dad's, obviously!) but also Gram D is a critter lover! Her favorite animal is the beautiful red birdy, the cardinal. A photo from!


All right, thanks for your patience! I hope you all have thawed out this weekend. You know you're from MN when it's 15 degrees outside and you exclaim, "Wow, it's really warmed up!" Ugh.

On to cardinals. Cardinalis cardinalis is another member of the giant bird Order Passeriformes, which includes perching birds such as crows and sparrows. These red beauties are the state bird of NC, WV, OH, IL, IN, KY and VA!

Just under six inches long, cardinals populate the eastern U.S. and southern Canada. They've been introduced to CA (where they're not doing very well), Bermuda and Hawaii. The birds are actually thriving because human expansion and subsequent bird feeders in suburban areas. Cardinals also favor woodlands, swamps and thickets.

They also live in my neighbor's backyard, which I observe from our bathroom window!

Cardinal love involves a mating ritual where the male and female birds stretch out their necks and raise their head crests, singing softly to each other. Awww. One to five eggies are laid, and the female incubates the eggs for about thirteen days before they hatch. During this period the male brings her seeds to eat and protects his territory from other cardinals. The cardinal chicks are only residents of the nest for about nine to ten days before they fledge. Usually the female will lay one or two more batches of eggs, while the male takes care of the first brood.

Here's mama bird, from


Cardinal Fun Facts!

*Cardinals were once popular pets, until the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 made it illegal to keep them!
*Male birds will fight for hours with their own reflection in a mirror!
*Male cardinals who are a darker red color have better habitats, more food and more offspring than less brightly colored birds.
*In winter, up to 60 or 70 cardinals will travel together in a flock.
*R hates Cardinals because that team battled (and lost) to the Minnesota Twins in the 1987 World Series!

Well, I hope you've all learned a little about the Northern Cardinal! Have a good week!


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