Meeting Red

Remember this No Parking sign and the little sparrow from my walk the other night at Forest Beach marsh?


Last night I headed out for a walk again at Forest Beach, hoping for ospreys.

As I was pulling into the parking lot, I spotted a flash of red out of the corner of my eye. A cardinal had just swooped up to the top of the No Parking sign. I love cardinals because they are so red and so vocal; the first ones you hear in the morning and the last ones at night.

But just as I was getting the shot into focus, the cardinal moved!

Blog-Bird89The amazing thing was that this guy wasn’t flying away from me, he was coming straight at me! He landed on the fence wire just a few feet away as I quickly tried to refocus.

Blog-Bird90I needn’t have worried because this bird was going nowhere. Turning his head this way and then that way, chirping constantly, he seemed just as curious about me as I was about him!


As I zoomed in, I could see that he was a young male with a bit of baby “feather fuzz” still showing through the brighter red plumage.

I decided to call him Red Butler after one of my all-time favorite movie characters from Gone with the Wind.


Blog-Bird97Red was gorgeous, and I told him so. He liked that.

Blog-Bird92 We continued our conversation back and forth as I snapped picture after picture, all the while pinching myself in disbelief.

Blog-Bird96Finally, I had to move because I was getting eaten alive. Reluctant to leave, I told Red it had been so nice to meet him.

He gave me one final look as another cardinal darted out from the bushes behind him and up they flew together into the trees.

Blog-Bird95As I walked away I could hear them chirping and hoped they were mates. I don’t know if I’ll ever see Red again, but I know that I’ll never hear a cardinal’s call without thinking of him.

He sure was something to behold and I am so much the richer for our meeting.


‘Til next time!



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