When camping in the juniper forest at Medina Lake in Texas, we were fortunate to have three mated pairs of Northern Cardinals visit us often. Cardinals were named for the red robes worn by Catholic cardinals. This species doesn't migrate, so you can usually see them year-round. They nest in undergrowth, rather than in trees, and the males, like the one in this pic, fiercely defend their territory against other males. Having three red males in our neck of the woods was entertaining, to say the least.
There are few birds that are as recognizable as the male cardinal, and it is the state bird of seven states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia). Whether they symbolize love, loyalty or are embraced as spiritual messengers from the spirit world, cardinals have played countless roles in mythology and literature through the centuries.
I never tire of seeing these beautiful creatures in the wild, and have many photos of both males and females. This particular shot is among my favorites of the bright red males.
You can purchase framed or canvas prints of this photograph at Imagekind:
Jack Huber has taken tens of thousands of photographs around the country and in his foreign travels.