Tuesday, March 5. 2019
We received a call from a homeowner that was hearing noise in her chimney, She originally thought a squirrel had fallen down the chimney and was desperately trying to get out. Upon our arrival, we opened the damper to discover this beautiful male cardinal. Many of our customers believe that a bird should be able to fly straight up a chimney, however all birds except hummingbirds need to fly forward in order to fly upwards.
Cardinals are hard to miss with their bright red colouring. Male cardinals, like the one pictured, are bright red all over with a black face around the bill while females are pale brown with red tinges on their wings and tails.
According to the Birds of North America Online, brighter males have higher reproductive success, hold better territories, and offer more parental care. The intensity of a cardinal’s redness is related to what he’s been eating. So when females see a bright male, it’s a signal that he’s healthy and holds a good territory.
As Spring approaches you will start to hear the male cardinals singing to claim their territory.
There is an old folklore saying that when a cardinal appears in your yard, it is a visitor from heaven. When cardinals appear, angels are near. They are said to symbolize hope, joy, health, rejuvenation and celebration.
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.