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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".


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a juvenile still growing into his full cardinality

A bishop?

From your friendly local Bird Nerd:

Cardinals as a whole don't migrate, but individuals do wander around a bit. Ozzie may indeed have overwintered in Queens at Our Lady of Copious Sunflower Seeds.

The first bird you saw was probably a juvenile male cardinal.

That's right! I forgot you were a birder. Is it possible that juvenile guy I saw earlier has now matured enough to have his bright redness and to have become interested in girls? Just this morning I saw a bright red guy out there trying to get a date with one or maybe even two females.

Entirely possible that the juvenile bird you saw earlier this year is now in adult male breeding plummage. Cardinal mating season begins towards the end of March, so last year's juvenile birds will be entering sexual maturity now.

BTW, I just noticed that this blog entry is at the bottom of the second page of Google results for the search terms '"northern cardinal" juvenile'. The Corpuscle is powerful.

Heh. Do a Google search on "red hammer test".

They're working my last nerve with that one.

3rd on Google for "red hammer test"? Clearly, you are some sort of Communist.

Hmm, "red sickle test" returns no results. Until the Googlebot makes its next pass over this page. Won't be long until you're called in front of Congress for questioning.

..."red sickle test" returns no results. Until the Googlebot makes its next pass over this page. Won't be long until you're called in front of Congress for questioning.

Thanks a lot. Well, it's not as if I don't have a thing or two to fill them in on.

Oh, and by the way... I just noticed if you google simply on the word "corpuscle", guess what page comes up first? OK, you don't have to guess. It's this blog.

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