I would follow you anywhere.
You are my whole world.
It hurts when you are not in sight.
You are the other half of me.
– Lloyd A Dempsey II
Living outside of office at my day job is a pair of mated Cardinals. (Cardinalis cardinalis) . Their marriage is strongly based on commitment. Cardinals mate for life and engage in courtship on a regular basis. Every year before nesting the male (bright red) brings food to the female and feeds her beak to beak. She is completely devoted to him. As he patrols his territory she never seems to be more than fifty feet away. If he leaves her sight she chirps sharply and he answers. The males have a distinct song. The song is a combination of loud high pitched tweets followed by several low pitched ones. The males fiercely defend their territory. They are small birds but what they lack in size they make up for in tenacity and vigilance. They’re known to orchestrate Blind Side surprise attacks on cats, dogs and people. I’ve watched the male pictured here simultaneously attack and chase away two crows that ventured too close to his nesting spouse. (Hey, it’s a guy thing. We’re not fulfilled unless we’re being protectors) Even though they seem to be antisocial jerks at times I have been able to pet one. He had defended his territory against his own reflection in a window and was lying on the ground unconscious. I thought it was dead but when I knelt down to check it out he sprung up and pecked my finger. After a few minutes he decided that I wasn’t such a bad guy after all and allowed me check him for injuries. Don’t worry about his mate rejecting him. That’s an old wives tale. They were still together for years afterwards.
I recently commented on another blog that marriage was about commitment and that true love grows out of that commitment. I can think of no better example than the Northern Cardinal.