Unveiling the 2006 Ozzie
The small and blurry red blob to the left is our first glimpse of Ozzie the Cardinal, 2006. We apologize for the poor image quality. Ozzie is being a bit remote.
A couple of weeks ago, I notice a small pale red bird with a bright red beak hanging out on my terrace. My cat noticed him as well but was securely locked indoors.
I studied the little bird. I'm not familiar enough with the life cycle of the Northern Cardinal to know whether the paleness of the red meant "he" was a female, or a juvenile still growing into his full cardinality. On the one hand, I believe the female is a pale brown with a bright red beak. On the other, it seemed the wrong time of year for a juvenile Cardinal to be hanging around looking for something to be delinquent about.
But whatever or whoever that bad boy was, this morning we have the "chew-chew-chew" of a mature Northern Cardinal echoing through the block's "backyard". And sure enough, there in the high branches was my bright red bad boy. I would say "Ozzie is back", but a friend suggests that Northern Cardinals do not migrate south for the winter. Probably correct, but I don't recall seeing my bad boy out there over the deepest part of winter either. Maybe there is a Cardinal homeless shelter somewhere out in Queens.
Anyway, welcome back Ozzie. It's the start of Spring and that means it's time for "pitchers and catchers", speaking romantically, of course. For every Ozzie, there's an Audrey. Good luck, bad boy. I'll be keeping an eye on you, and an ear out for your "chew-chew-chew".