The Cardinal (No, Not the Guy in Rome)
July 10, 2016 7:20am CST
I told @JudyEv that I would try to get another photo of the northern cardinal that's been showing up here, and last night, I was able to. Here he is, in all his red glory. I say "he," because the female is not nearly as striking with her olive-brown feathers and only light red coloring. They both, however, produce the same rich song that has clear bell-like notes and drowns out that of lots of other birds. It's part of the mating ritual, as the male uses his song to announce to the others that this is HIS territory and not theirs. I toss birdseed on the ground out there once in awhile, so there is always something for them to peck at. Interestingly enough, I've almost always seen cardinals later in the day before dusk or on rainy days. And I always hear one before I see it, as it announces its presence outside my window in its typically grand way. Photo Copyright@2016 Rachel Lovejoy
8 people like this
• Saco, Maine
10 Jul 16
Oh yeah. Though I've often wondered who took the name first: the guys or the birds. The bird's scientific name is Cardinalis Cardinalis. Did the cardinals in Rome borrow the name because they wore red outfits, or did the birds get the name because they copied the cardinals? I like to think the birds got it first!
• Saco, Maine
10 Jul 16
@Raelove According to this, the bird was named after the card1125, "one of the ecclesiastical princes who constitute the sacred college," from L. cardinalis "principal, chief, essential," from cardo (gen. cardinis) "that on which something turns or depends," originally "door hinge." Ecclesiastical use began for the presbyters of the chief (cardinal) churches of Rome. The adj. sense of "chief, principal" in Eng. is attested from c.1440. Cardinal numbers (1591) are the primitive "one, two, three," etc. as opposed to ordinal numbers "first, second, third," etc. Cardinal points (1549) are "north, south, east, west." The cardinal virtues (c.1300) were divided into natural (justice prudence, temperance, fortitude) and theological (faith, hope, charity). The N.Amer. songbird (Cardinalis virginianus) is attested from 1678, so named for its resemblance to the red robes of the cardinals.inals.