This is Chirpy, a male cardinal that has been visiting me for almost two years now. It started a couple of years after we had moved in to our house here in southwest Florida. He appeared on the window sill of the breakfast nook, and started chirping. Well, I thought that was the cutest thing, so the next day I went out and bought black oil sunflower seeds thinking I should maybe start feeding him and the other birds in the yard.
The next morning there was Chirpy again, sitting on the window sill chirping (hence his name) and I took out a scoop of sunflower seeds and he flew to a branch nearby and I offered him the scoop to eat out of and I was so surprised when he took some.
This continued every day and I thought maybe he will sit on my hand, so I put some of the seeds on my hand and sure enough he flew onto my hand and ate some seeds.
He has come to the window almost every day for the last two years. On the days he doesn't show up I usually see him out in the yard somewhere and I'm guessing he's attending to family duties.
We have seen three broods grow up these last two years and I hope there will be many more.
Here is one of the kids. It is the best fun to watch them grow up and learn to hunt and how Chirpy and the Mrs. teach them how to survive on their own.
One day Chirpy and Jr. were on top of the pool cage in the backyard and Jr. got hold of a dragonfly and cornered it and had a feast! I've seen Chirpy do that before and it was so nice to know they are all hunting for themselves and not dependent on seed from me.
Here's another shot of one of the kids with Chirpy. They really are a close family unit that is amazing to watch.
As far as I know, he's had the same mate since we've been here. She's a beauty, but much more shy than Chirps.
This is probably my favorite shot of Mrs. C. posing so nicely on the backyard fence that enters into the preserve.
Chirps left eye is kind of messed up. It's been the same since the day I met him. I'm not sure if it's mites or what, but I hope it doesn't cause him much discomfort.
He seems to know to pose with his "good" side, Haha - just like a movie star.
He truly is a handsome guy and I hope he's happy enough to stay and continue raising his broods and bring us so many happy moments!