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male and female Cardinals
acrylic on masonite panel, 18 7/8 x 13 15/16

These, of course, are the cardinals that do not vote for popes. In fact, it is unlikely that any of these finely feathered friends have even gone to church, unless they got in through an screenless, open window.

Cardinals are often thought of as winter birds. In fact, they are year-round residents (like most of us without Florida or Arizona time-shares). Bird navigation to and from winter homes seems understood, but the choice of "migrate, or don't migrate" is open to many theories. Perhaps with climate change, there will be fewer migrations if access to food is prolonged by warmer winters.

Cardinals are nutcases, with their big sturdy beaks able to crack the vegetative remains to get at the meat of the matter throughout the year. Many birds — like warblers and sandpipers — are less well equipped, and must scurry southwards for less laborious berries, and other dangling delights. Unless, of course, there is a 24/7 corner store nearby, resplendent with the suspect rewards of waste-can and dumpster diving.

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P.O. Box 659, Winchester, Ontario. K0C 2K0   613-774-5180
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© 2012 Douglas Laing