Is This Your Christmas Bird?

Northern cardinal (photo by Gwen Grace)

Gwen Grace

Friends from Eastern United States usually send me a Christmas card with pictures of a northern cardinal amidst a snowy background. This bird is featured on Christmas cards, decorated on windows and tree ornaments during this season. The lovely red color of this bird makes it a favorite Christmas bird. The northern cardinal is found in Eastern and Central North America but is in Arizona! Mostly it is found at higher elevations and loves dense shrubbery. They eat seeds and fruit and insects and love black oil sunflower seeds.

One place they can be consistently found is at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum off Highway 60 in Superior. They can be heard singing near the picnic table area and in the Chinese pistache trees nearby. You won’t have to look for the cardinals if you eat at the picnic tables. They will try to steal your lunch!

Desert Rivers Audubon Resumes Free BirdWalks

Come out with the kids. The event is free. BirdWalks are about 45 minutes, and there are binoculars for lending. There are bird guides for sale and children’s bird books. Bird leaders will identify the birds. BirdWalks are held the first Saturday of the month at Chandler and the third Saturday of the month at Gilbert.

Dec. 2 at Chandler Veterans Oasis Park, Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay Road, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Dec. 16 at Gilbert Riparian Preserve on Guadalupe and Greenfield from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The monthly speaker for Dec. 12 will be Dr. Todd Driggers. His topic will be “Saving the Wild Birds from the Fire Ravaged Australia.” He works at the Avian & Exotic Animal Clinic in Mesa but donated his time in Australia when the wildfires were at their worst a few years ago. How can this assist us in Arizona to save birds?

The meeting is available in person at the Gilbert Library or on Zoom. Register for Zoom on the website,