April 13, 2010

Healthy Lady Bird

Is it better not to know? Last night I felt that way as I took these close ups of Lady Bird. Normally she sits in the bird feeder so I can't see or show you how I know she only has one foot. But last night she helped herself to a nice long drink at the birdbath so I was able to take these. 
See how she sits here at the birdbath?  Aside from her slight expected wobbliness, I can always recognize her by her leg as it sticks out down and behind her.
In the above photo it's clear Lady Bird's leg is missing from just above her knee. While that said it is also clear that her stump no matter when or how it happened is completely and fully healed. So while it is a bit sad to know more, it's also good that she does not have any lingering problems. Just take a second look at that top photograph; her feathers are in great condition this year.

I did a bit of bird research and the longest documented wild cardinal lived to be over 18 years, isn't that something? The common misconception that cardinals only live for a year is actually a skewed number caused by the high baby and adolescent deaths.

Please keep in mind Lady Bird is a wild bird that is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which allows her the freedom to come and go as she pleases. The Migratory Bird Treaty says that the birds on the list shall never be pursued, hunted, taken, captured, killed, sold or possessed. It also protects all things pertaining to, including, eggs, feathers, and nests.

It makes me think a little of the Kalahari Meerkat Project, to watch but never to interfere.


Heather Landry said...

I had no clue that they could live 18 years. That's just awesome!

stitchinpenny said...

I love your educational commentary on cardinals. I also love the pictures of Lady bird as she sits and drinks. Wonderful to watch nature work.