Picture Story: A Cardinal Talks

by Sara on February 15, 2010

what-would-I-say-to-youPhotograph by Sara B. Healy

Bird Talk

I took this picture during the summer of a fledgling cardinal and every time I look at it, I laugh. There’s something about his expression that cracks me up. He is in the process of molting, which is why he’s missing a few feathers here and there.

He may not look it, but this is one smart bird, which leads me to your challenge for today.

Take the Challenge

Let’s pretend that our little cardinal is fluent in languages. Let’s say in addition to his native language, he also speaks English and speaks much better than any parrot:~)

So, take another look at him and then answer this challenge question:  What do you think he’s going to say next?

Here are some other questions you can consider answering in addition to the challenge question or in place of it.

  • What’s secret is he about to tell?
  • What’s your favorite type of bird and I mean the ones that fly. Oops, did I really say that:~)
  • What question did you really want to answer that I didn’t include? Go for it! Write your own question and answer it in the comment box.

Have fun, be creative and enjoy:~)

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Fireblossom32 February 15, 2010 at 11:36 am

Mom says, “We need to economize.”

Mom says, “This place does good haircuts, and they’re cheap.”

Mom says, “When you’re paying for it, you can go anyplace you like. But today we’re going here.”

Mom says, “Omg. You were right. I’m so sorry, honey! We’ll fix it somehow!”

Baby cardinal says: “Mothers!”
.-= Fireblossom32´s last blog ..The Tenant =-.

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Sara February 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm

@ Fireblossom32 — LOL…this was a great comment and so appropriate for this fellow with his absent feathers:~)

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talon February 15, 2010 at 11:42 am

The expression is priceless, Sara. I can only hear, “Mommy?” in a sad sweet voice when I look at it!

I have several favorite birds – chickadees (saucy and friendly), blue jays (bossy and vocal), crows (loud and clever) and hawks (solitary and predatory).
.-= talon´s last blog ..Destined… =-.

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Sara February 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

@ talon — It does seem that the idea of “mommy” comes out when you look at this little guy:~)

I have to look up chickadees to see if we have them here, but I am also very fond of blue jays. I love how they mimic the cry of a hawk to chase away all the birds at the feeder. They are bossy birds, but funny too. I also like hawks as long as they are not near my yard as they get my birds, which I know is natural, but the “mother” in me comes out when they appear. Still they are beautiful to watch in flight:~)

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Ken Winker February 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

“Is this the largest keyring you have?”

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Sara February 15, 2010 at 4:21 pm

@ Ken — Oh, I am going to enjoy having you visit. It took me a few seconds of looking at the picture again for me to get this one…I need more practice with your humor:~) Hopefully, my little guy will NOT try to fly away with this keyring!!!

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Davina February 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Hi Sara. This is an excellent picture. Birds are so hard to capture. I just can’t pick a favourite type of bird. I love them all; especially the really tiny ones with the big fat bellies who hop around effortlessly.

I can’t say that I think he’s about to reveal a secret. But do birds… fart? Cause it almost looks like he’s holding one of those back o:-)

I’m laughing like crazy at Ken’s comment! :-D Perfectly hilarious.
.-= Davina´s last blog ..Life Coach for the Knobs =-.

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Sara February 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm

@ Davina — The idea of tiny little birds with fat bellies hopping around effortlessly makes me LOL, as does the fart question:~) You are so funny. I can see what you are saying, however. He’s does have that look of “expectation.”

Also, I couldn’t resist researching your question about whether or not birds fart. Here’s a site that might answer it…well, maybe:~) If anyone does check out this site, be sure to read the comments…they’re rather funny!

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Dot February 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I think he/she is saying, “Molting is really uncomfortable!” :-)
.-= Dot´s last blog ..Comment on The New Look by Dot =-.

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Sara February 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

@ Dot — Great line and very possibly true. They do look pretty miserable when go through this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:~)

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Caity February 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm

That is a great picture! I love it! Birds are such beautiful animals.

The bird would say, “Are you going to eat all those saltines?” I’m eating some saltine crackers and I think he wants one. :)

I love hummingbirds!

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Sara February 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

@ Caity — I like the idea of this little guy wanting a saltine cracker. He does look like he might be hungry:~)

I also love hummingbirds. I have a feeder in the summer that’s right off my porch and I can watch them come to it to eat. The only thing about hummingbirds is they sort of mean — they’re really aggressive about their food!!

I had one that would let any other hummingbird near the feeder. He’d sit up on my roof and attack if a hummingbird tried to get to the feeder. I ended up having put up another feeder in a different part of yard:~)

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Hilary February 16, 2010 at 3:11 am

Hi Sara .. he’s saying I’m quite pretty .. please give me a kiss .. I might be a bit short of a few things ..but I do love you!
Blackbirds at the moment – as their song is so beautiful – they sing so much early in the morning and late in the evening.
Hey, hey, hey .. what’s for tea? .. come on – get the cake out .. it’s cold out here ..

Love it Sara and that picture is beautiful!
.-= Hilary´s last blog ..St Valentine’s Day, Tokens of Affection and Love Spoons =-.

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Sara February 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm

@ Hilary — You always delight me with something in your comments. I love the “Hey, hey, hey .. what’s for tea? .. come on – get the cake out .. it’s cold out here ..” I don’t know if we have blackbirds in Florida. I’ll have to check this out!

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JC February 16, 2010 at 10:33 am

He’s saying “I said put my sweater on permanent press not heavy cotton!”

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Sara February 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

@ JC — LOL…this sounds kind of familiar:~)

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suzen February 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Sara! Oh I’m SUCH a bird lover – this one is simply precious! What a look! LOL!

Ok – I think he is saying:

“So! You STILL aren’t getting the hint to loose weight? What do I hafta do to make it plain and simple for you? Loose ALL my darn feathers? Loose the fluffly fat, lady!!!”
.-= suzen´s last blog ..Discoveries in Being Hip – It’s CODE =-.

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Sara February 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm

@ suzen — You remind of why I do these picture story posts. I love reading the comments and what others have to say about the picture. I loved this one, especially “Loose the fluffy fat, lady!!!” Very funny:~)

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Jannie Funster February 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Ahhhh, he is cute in his little molting sweetness.

I think he’s going to say “is that really that you’re planning on wearing?!?” (either that, or as Davina says, he’s going to let one rip.)

My favorite bird? Small cute ones. Like a finch that comes up close to you at an outdoor restaurant table.

xo
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..5 More BIG Photos — Whoo-hoo. (and a poll, in case you’d missed it in the sidebar.) =-.

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

@ Jannie — He does sort of look like he’s questioning something, doesn’t he! I got such a hoot out Davina’s comment. I even looked whether or not birds fart.

Where I live, the little birds at picnic tables sort of remind me bird extortioners. They are very demanding and insist about getting their “payment: in bread or crackers. They walk right up to our plates and stand there staring until you remember Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds:~)

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Patricia February 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

“Say, I could use a bit of privacy here, can’t you see i”m Molting?”

What a great picture. I love the little finches that flit through the apple trees in bloom season, but right now we are experiencing a great many of the green, hummingbirds (rufus?) the redder ones do not winter here, but it is looking like they will have a tough year against the aggressive ones out and about now.

fun post Thank you
And yes! Davina is a wonderful coach…and fun too :)
.-= Patricia´s last blog ..192 Books =-.

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

@ Patricia — That’s a good line and does fit his look! We haven’t gotten the hummingbirds yet. We get them in the summer and they are aggressive.

We agree wholeheartedly about Davina:~)

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Patty - Why Not Start Now? February 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hi Sara – Hmmm, I thought I left a comment here last night but I must not have finished it due to my long-weekend-induced haze. Anyway, what I think the bird is saying is, “Don’t you need a hug? I know you need a hug! I don’t care, I’m hugging you.” I love the photo – amazing that you captured his expression. I’m sure I wrote something else too, but I can’t remember..oh well!
.-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Meaning Mondays: The Clouds Edition =-.

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

@ Patty — I like the idea of a bird hug:~) It sounds like I should him your way…it sounds like you could a hug today! Maybe we visit each other so frequently, it’s hard to keep up with comments. I also thought you had left a comment and that I replied, but I checked and don’t see it…maybe Wordpress got hungry and ate your comment and my reply:~)

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Walter February 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I think he’s going to say: I hate this period of my life, how can I attract someone looking like this? :-)

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

@ Walter — What a great line and one that’s possibly true. He’s lucky that he’s just young one. This last summer ALL the cardinals were molting and some looked even worse for wear than this little guy:~)

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Belinda Munoz February 17, 2010 at 12:20 am

Adorable!

I think he’s about to say, “I’m not really missing any feathers. They’re missing me. Don’t worry. Lots of creatures love me still and see past this minor imperfection.”

I just saw a documentary called “The Parrots of Telegraph Hill” so I think my favorite is parrots right now. Tied with hummingbirds.

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

@ Belinda — I love these challenges…it just shows how creative bloggers are. Your answer was great and he is still loved. At this point, his parents were probably still feeding him.

Cardinals are funny about that. They have a hard time getting rid of their children, which they must do since they usually nest more than one time during spring and summer. I have seen fledglings like this one chasing the adult birds and squawking like crazy:~) I don’t very much about parrots, but I do like hummingbirds!

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Jeanne February 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

“Yeah, well you were pretty ugly when YOU were molting!”
Love this photo, great job!

My favorite bird is the mockingbird, ever since one woke me up at 2am (pitch dark outside) singing his little heart out. He was so happy I had to get out of bed and go into the back yard to watch him. I thought birds slept at night, but not that little guy! He was so happy, he broke the rules and I think of him often.

This was fun!
.-= Jeanne´s last blog ..May You Rest in Peace =-.

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Jeanne — LOL …this has been one the most challenges. I’ve loved everyone’s comments, including this one:~)

That’s a nice story about a mockingbird. I like that he was happy and singing. We have lots of mockingbirds. I call them the “fighter pilots” of the bird world because I frequently see them going after hawks with absolutely NO FEAR. They will call each and join together to dive bomb a hawk and chase it away!

Thanks for sharing this challenge:~)

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Tony Single February 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

He’s looking pretty antagonistic to me. I can imagine him saying in a reedy little voice, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer!” before flying over and pecking the living snot out of me! :P

As for my fave bird, that would have to be the Australian Magpie… not because it’s Australian mind you, but because of its beautiful black and white markings. It also has a beautiful, warbling musicality to its cries that make me sit up and take notice. And the Magpie is very intelligent too; I swear you can see that behind its eyes!
.-= Tony Single´s last blog ..The Ant and the Cicada =-.

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Sara February 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

@ Tony — LOL It’s always fun to see what you see:~) I saw what I guess were Magpies in Switzerland??? They were large black birds with white markings…I didn’t close enough to tell anything about their intelligence, unfortunately:~(

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Gordon Chesnut February 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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