Kissing Cardinals — an article from The Healthy Homeschool

male cardinal
male cardinal
female cardinal
female cardinal

Ah, spring is here and I’m ready to watch it!  Like a squirrel prepares for winter, the gardener prepares for spring, and this year I have a bit of bounty ready to use.  Last year, I got in the mood to create a fashionable garden room.  I wanted my room outside to be a very defined section of space at a good vantage to see the rest of the garden.   It took some work and a little planning, but it is done, and my heart delights in taking my morning coffee in my new outdoor sitting room.

 

Here are its attributes: it is situated under a medium-sized, leafy, evergreen tree that has been pruned to be like a big umbrella over my shade garden.  A stone and cement walkway leads, like a carpet runner, under the tree and to the main sitting area.  There are six mosaic-covered, square stepping stones set in the ground to make a “rug,” around which sit three garden chairs.  My “end table” is an old stump, set upright and planted in the ground, on which an old sun dial sans pointer is placed as the tabletop.  This is where my coffee (or tea) and bird guide (or magazine) sit when I am holding my binoculars for bird watching.
The room is a delightful place to watch the birds, which is exactly what I have been doing.

 

Have you ever seen kissing cardinals?  I cannot say that I have ever noticed such a thing, but this year my garden room has enticed me to sit a little longer and watch a little closer.  It was with great pleasure that I watched, for about half an hour,  two cardinals at my bird feeders.  They were male and female, definitely a pair, for they followed one another around, and the male seemed to be kissing the female!  It was the sweetest thing!  Mr. Male Cardinal would not let his mate fly very far away without going to the feeder, then flying to where she was and seeming to kiss her.  I picked up one of my favorite bird references, Birds of the Carolinas Field Guide, by Stan Tekiela.  (Mr. Tekiela has written bird field guides for quite a few states, by the way.)  I turned to the section on “birds that are
mostly red” and found the cardinal.  (This is a very easy and fun book to use.)  Right there was my answer:  “Look for the male feeding female during courtship.”

 

There’s victory already this spring!  My outdoor sitting room will double as a learning room.  But isn’t that the way it goes with homeschool?  The world is the classroom and homeschooling becomes a way of life.  Moms, look for it and show your children: kissing cardinals!