A Backyard Visitor

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Some of you may know that in a past life I studied wildlife biology. (What??? You mean you didn’t realize that was a required course of study for a longarm quilter/quilt shop owner/pattern designer?? But what else could I have studied…….gee, maybe home ec or textiles would have proven more useful in my current line of work <wink> – ya think??!!)

Although I no longer work in that field, I still enjoy spending time in nature, and I especially love bird watching. We have a variety of feeders and birdbaths on our property, and the change of seasons always brings new species to appreciate. The other day I spotted a bird, while not uncommon, I had never before seen in my yard in the eight years I’ve lived here – a male Northern cardinal.


A male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinali...

Image via Wikipedia


Where I grew up (on Long Island, NY), cardinals were frequent visitors to my neighborhood, and we even had them nesting in our yard. But since living in S. Dakota, I rarely see them. They’re such beautiful birds, especially against the whiteness of a snowy winter. I hope my new friend sticks around to strut his stuff if we get any snow this winter. (*If* we get snow??? Who am I kidding…..there is no IF about it…..this is S. Dakota…..there WILL be snow this winter, and usually there’s plenty of it! The good news is that it’s a perfect reason to stay indoors and quilt!)

Fabric designer Deb Strain must love cardinals too, as she featured them along with chickadees in her “Nature’s Gift” panel. I have these available as kits as you see pictured here, or separately as panels and yardage.

Do you have cardinals where you live? Which birds are your favorites? Post a comment by Weds. Oct. 26 and I’ll choose one person at random to win a Nature’s Gift panel!

10 thoughts on “A Backyard Visitor

  1. We live in central NH, we have cardinals galore at our house, they look so red against all the white snow, but another of my favorites is the Black capped chickadee. They are so cute as they go from one feeder to another, I just love them. I have made napkins that have them along with pine boughs. They look nice on our holiday table.

  2. I grew up in New England and am now stuck in the cold South dakota winters. My Mom’s favorite was the chickadee, and since she is gone, they always make me think of her. I wish you could do something about the cold and the snow, Maybe we will have a warm winter…………………but I’m not holding my breath.


  3. I grew up in southeastern PA and I too am used to seeing male and female cardinals on a regular basis. The chicadee is a classic, beautiful bird, but my own favorite is the blue bird. You’ll never see them for long…the move quick but they are absolutely breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your lovely photo.

    • Bluebirds are amazing, aren’t they? We put out nesting boxes hoping to attract some but got tree swallows instead.

      I should clarify that I did not take the photo of the cardinal – of course my camera wasn’t handy when I saw him. This was a generic clip art photo of a cardinal, but mine looked very much the same ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. My mom was a bird lover – so like Betsy’s memories, chickadees remind me of her. I do love the male cardinals though (females, not so much :), and would love it if we had a few around here. They are so colorful. We do have blue jays, which also kind of wake you up when you spot them. Maybe Andi’s cardinal will come and visit me since I’m only about 20 miles South of her (South–that sounds good about now!). See you ladies at the retreat – can’t wait!!

  5. Cardinals are my favorite bird. When I lived in Yankton I always had at least one pair that nested in the yard. It was fun to watch the little ones grow and get flying lessons from the male. Cardinals do look beautiful against snow and sitting on the branches of blue spruce trees.
    I actually had a male cardinal at one of my feeders for a couple of days this spring, but haven’t seen one since.

    • Lucky you, Cindy, to have them nesting in your yard. I was just glad to see my guy for a few days. Haven’t noticed him lately, but I haven’t had much time to check the feeders lately.

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