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Cardinals, Cardinal Sins, Etc.

Updated on February 23, 2011

You won’t catch a Cardinal,

Committing a Cardinal sin.

Nope! No matter,

What kind of snit it’s in.

They may swoop in,

And brush another away,

But then it’s a seed or two,

And they’re all ready to play.

I can’t say for sure,

That a Cardinal won’t lust,

But most seem to be,

The kind of bird I would trust.

I can’t see even one,

Being a bit covetous,

You won’t find a Cardinal,

That is gluttonous.

I’ve never seen a Cardinal,

In anger or the least bit mad.

I’ve not seen one too proud,

And I’ve never seen one sad.

Though none are employed,

I would describe none as lazy,

However, I may have,

Seen one that was crazy.

However, I’ve heard your nest,

Can be an untidy affair,

Built of weed stems, grass,

And maybe, even hair.

But I know how busy,

Both parents can be,

Sharing parental duties,

Can make a lovely family tree.

The male and female,

Both feed their young.

And they both sing a duet,

Like none have ever sung.

The male Cardinal,

Is brightly colored in red,

Drawing the predator from the nest,

To chase his flamboyance instead.

The female is a beautiful brown,

With streaks of red on her back.

She’s divinely attractive,

To drive that red male whack.

For these Cardinals,

Are pretty prolific,

And I must insist,

They are terrific!

How I love your,

Large stout bill.

Your lovely music,

Is such a trill!

This “Winter Redbird”,

                                  has such a beautiful song.

How could this tweet bird,

                                         ever do wrong?

~Micky Dee~

The Cardinal is the state bird and year-round resident of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

In the early 1940s, North Carolina found itself lacking an official state bird. Until that time, the mosquito and the “Rockefeller salute” were vying for state bird status.  The runner-up was the mourning dove. Alas, it seemed too sad. On March 4, 1943, the cardinal became North Carolina's state bird. On March 5, 1943, absolutely nothing happened.

North Carolina's state bird is the northern cardinal (cardinalis cardinalis). To say that a bird is a cardinal, however, could mean a few things. One is that the bird belongs to the family cardinalidae, as some grosbeaks and buntings do. And a Cardinal should be able to recite at least one Catechism.

As we can see with the map above, the "Northern Cardinal" is doing well from Canada to Central America and from the Eastern US through the Southwest.

Northern cardinals are abundant but development has diminished some populations. In California, cardinals are native only to the Colorado River Valley, where they are now threatened by loss of habitat.

North Carolina's official bird isn't as common in the state as it once was. While not endangered, the population seems to be on the decrease, with a reduction of about 20 percent in the last 40 years, according to the National Audubon society. Suburban sprawl, which diminishes nesting and foraging possibilities, may be the reason.

St. Louis is home to a migratory species common only to St. Louis and is aptly named the "St. Louis Cardinal". The St. Louis Cardinal is most visible in the summer months.

Another species closely akin to the St. Louis Cardinal is the Arizona Cardinal. These birds are mostly fall and winter birds.

Another Cardinal with extraordinary plumage is the Roman Catholic Cardinal. This bird is most visible in Vatican City, Rome.

Christmas Cardinals

The video above is my first experiment at assembling music with video using a new program. I'm pleased with the way the "experiment" turned out. The program as all others I've sampled, are time consuming and user unfriendly. But I may just not have a handle on it.

The video shows the deck and railing on the rear of my home. I put out mostly sunflower seeds all year 'round and at any time there could be fifty Cardinals waiting their turn at swooping down for a snack. The Cardinals seem to be more prominent with colder temperatures. Birds need more food in winter to stay warm.

But the "Winter Redbirds" dot the white snow and the green trees so beautifully!

· Official North Carolina State Bird Name: Cardinal

· American Ornithologists' Union Common Name: Northern Cardinal

· Also Known As: Red Bird, Winter Redbird

· Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals

· Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis

· Length: 8.75" (22 cm)

· Diet: Seeds & fruit, insects. Only sunflower seeds at Micky Dee's house.

· Voice: Song- a series of high, clear, sharp, mostly slurred whistles woit woit woit woit chew chew chew chew chew or pichew pichew tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw; many variations. Call a high, hard tik; also a softer, rising twik.

· Habitat: Woodland edges, thickets, suburban gardens, towns, swamps.

· Displays: Male and female with outstretched necks and erect crests sway bodies from side to side while singing softly.

· Number of broods: 2, 3, in the southern states, 4 broods are common further north. I guess the colder northern weather just keeps Cardinals "together".

· Nest: In bramble thickets or tree saplings, 1-15' above ground; compact and well lined to flimsy and scarcely lined; of weed stems, pliable twigs, bark strips, grass rootlets, with leaves and paper interwoven, lined with fine grass, hair.

· Eggs: Averages 3-4 grayish-, bluish-, greenish-white eggs, marked with browns, grays, purples. 1.0" (25 mm).

· Incubation period: 12-13 days

· Fledge: 9-10 days after hatching

· Longevity Record: 15 Years and 9 months (according to USGS Bird Banding Lab)

UN-Cool fact: In the 1800s Cardinals were much-sought-after cage birds highly valued for their color and song. Thousands were trapped in the south in the winter and sent to northern markets, and thousands more were sent to Europe. This trade ceased, fortunately, with the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Sounds like a Cardinal Sin!

The Cardinal Sins - The Seven Deadly Sins

The "Cardinal Sins or the Seven Deadly Sins" were grouped together as early as the 6th century by Pope Gregory. A sin was classified as deadly not merely because it was a serious offense, morally, but because it gives rise to other sins.

(1) vainglory, or pride

(2) covetousness

(3) lust, understood as inordinate or illicit sexual desire

(4) envy

(5) gluttony, which usually included drunkenness

(6) anger

(7) sloth

superbia, avaritia, luxuria, invidia, gula, ira, acedia

Gula (gluttony)

is derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food or its withholding from the needy.

Thomas Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, including: Praepropere - eating too soon. Laute - eating too expensively. Nimis - eating too much. Ardenter - eating too eagerly (burningly). Studiose - eating too daintily (keenly). Forente - eating wildly (boringly).

Fornicatio (fornication, lust or lechery (carnal "luxuria")

is usually thought of as excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. Aristotle's criterion was excessive love of others, which therefore rendered love and devotion to God as secondary.

Avaritia (avarice/greed)

is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was "a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things. As defined outside of Christian writings, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.

Like greed, Envy invidia) may be characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons: First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally. Second, those who commit the sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it.

Tristitia (sorrow/despair)

is the precipitating cause of suicide. Feelings of hopelessness, despondency, pessimism and impending doom, were not the same as the condition, melancholy. "If the man be bereft, give him solace. If he be in physical torment, give him medicine. If he be to the desire of death, give him hope. Reason, encouragement, and faith bring hope, therefore, use them liberally." -St. Francis of Assisi. Since sadness often results in acedia, Pope Gregory's revision of the list subsumed Despair into Acedia.

Ira (wrath)

is also known as anger or "rage". It may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Anger, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Anger may persist long after the person who did another a grievous wrong is dead. Feelings of anger can manifest in different ways, including impatience, revenge, and vigilantism.

Wrath is the only sin not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest (although one can of course be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy, closely related to the sin of envy). Vengeance is "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite", Dante. In its original form, the sin of wrath also encompassed anger pointed internally rather than externally. Thus suicide was deemed as the ultimate, albeit tragic, expression of wrath directed inwardly, a final rejection of God's gifts.

Acedia (acedia)

has come to be closer in meaning to sloth (Latin, Socordia). The focus came to be on the consequences of acedia rather than the cause, and so, by the 17th century, the exact deadly sin referred to was believed to be the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts. Acedia is the neglect to take care of something that one should do. It is translated to apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. It is similar to melancholy, although acedia describes the behaviour, while melancholy suggests the emotion producing it. In early Christian thought, the lack of joy was regarded as a wilful refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world God created. By contrast, apathy was considered a refusal to help others in time of need.

Superbia (hubris, pride) - Vanagloria (vainglory)

In almost every list pride (superbia, or hubris), is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God).

Vainglory (vanagloria) is unjustified boasting. Pope Gregory viewed it as a form of pride, so he folded vainglory into pride for his listing of sins. The Latin term gloria roughly means boasting, although its English cognate - glory - has come to have an exclusively positive meaning; historically, vain roughly meant futile, but by the 14th century had come to have the strong narcissistic undertones, of irrelevant accuracy, that it retains today. As a result of these semantic changes, vainglory has become a rarely used word in itself, and is now commonly interpreted as referring to vanity (in its modern narcissistic sense).

In addition to these "SEVEN" several more could be added that we could deem more dire than a few of the Deadly Seven-

Cruelty and dishonesty are bad habits with which our politicians are very familiar.

Fear and superstition can account for more transgressions.

Unwavering Loyalty to political parties is in total disagreement with God.

To parallel and coincide, the seven holy virtues are:









                if we truly possess love, we should have all the virtues.

We could add the Ten Commandments to the Heavy Deadly Seven Cardinal Sins.

We could write a bill of rights.

We could draw up a constitution.

But if we hold the Golden Rule dear, won't we eschew sin?

There are many virtues to mull and hold dear but none will encompass what the Golden Rule will.

Let's love our mates. If we want the best for our neighbor, we will want the best for our mates. There won't be adultry.

Let's obey the Golden Rule with "not stealing". We don't want another person's stuff and we want them to do well.

And so on and so on.

And we'll try to love those who do not know the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule is the crossroads where all religions meet.

Yes, even Atheists can participate.

All religions must come together to defeat the evil that grips this Earth.

Humanity needs to stick TOGETHER!



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    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you tnderhrt! You've given me a great lift this morning.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      7 years ago

      Micky Dee, this is my overall favorite to date from you! A Masterpiece of work here! Your verse, video and commentary are informative, joyful and True to the letter! Just outstanding, Mr. Micky, Sir!!!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      The birds and the Golden Rule! God bless you mysterylady. I do love those cardinals. There must be hundreds in my trees around the house. Take care mysterylady.

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 

      7 years ago from Florida

      I, too, love cardinals. They are always among the first to arrive at my bird feeder in North Carolina. I liked the transition from birds to R.C. Cardinals to cardinal sins and then cardinal virtues. I prefer the birds and, of course, the Golden Rule.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you dear Creativeone.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Micky, for a very beautiful and awesome poem.Keep on Rockin it. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Dear meow! You are so delightful.

    • meow48 profile image


      7 years ago from usa

      i feel privileged. thankyou.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We have a resident pair of cardinals that live in our area and we see them frequenting our backyard and birdbath. You have an amazing number of them in your backyard! So beautiful as was your first video. Loved the classical music also. As to the cardinal sins and virtues...sounds just like the things taught in catechism class and the parochial school that I attended as a youth. Good reminder for us all. You are a blessing! Hitting all the buttons except funny. Thanks Micky dear!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      I'm sorry they don't get up your way. I love you Darski dear. God bless!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Hi Micky Dee, your map shows that they are not in my state, and how beautiful the are against the white snow. Your words are so mesmerizing and the love for nature is a twinkle in your eye. Love you mick...rate up up up Fantastic hub

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you A M Werner. I'd love to see Wisconsin and more of that area some day. Never in winter though.

      Yes ma'am DzyMsLizzy! Let's hang on to that simple law.

      Thank you skye2day. God bless you dear.

      Charmgirl! I need a visit to charmgirlworld.

      God bless you Eiddwen. You know I love you dear!

      crystolite! I love your hubs bub! God bless!

    • crystolite profile image


      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice Lyrics you have here. Keep it up

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Hi Micky,

      A beautiful hub and great video clip.

      I love reading /watching anything on wildlife/animals /nature and this indeed was a rare treat.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      take care


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Lovely pictures of a beautiful bird. Thanks for all the interesting info too Micki

    • skye2day profile image


      7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Mickey Dee my heart felt the love pour out of you like the fresh living water of Jesus Christ. Beautiful and inspired. I am Blessed. You keep the light shining bro. Sending you warm hugs In Him. Your 'sista' Glory to God.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Great! Love the poem--reminds me of my mother's style. She considered it 'doggerel,' and unworthy of publication; I could never convince her that her favorite poet--who had a great influence upon her--was the master of doggerel himself: Ogden Nash.

      Beautiful photos of beautiful birds, as well!

      Love the things in your "epilogue," as well.. The good ol' Golden Rule...which too often anymore is translated as "Do unto others before you are undone," or "Do unto others before they can do unto you."

      Voted up!

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      7 years ago from West Allis

      I read it through a couple of times! It has a little bit of everything, so much knowledge and so much wisdom. It hits you from different directions and all of it serves to make one think and ponder. We always look forward to finding cardinals here in Wisconsin. They are beautiful and their song, especially in the wee morning hours, is heavenly. Great hub! Peace

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hi dear Ruby! I'm sure glad you're "always exploring" over here. God bless you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      micky, i loved the music with the video. I miss my Humming birds. The Red Cardinals are beautiful. Your poetry is great. Good to list the seven deadly sins, some over-look the gluttony, while judging other sins. Thank you for a beautiful hub.

      Love and Peace

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you poetvix. It's always so nice to see your avatar.

    • poetvix profile image


      7 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      With the bright contrast of the birds and the gorgeous snow covered tree limbs these were some magnificent pictures. This is a great hub with all things cardinal but my favorite thing was how you included the seven virtues... most only list the sins. Thank you!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you my nephew Prasetio!

      BenWritings- you have a great heart. I can see that!

      Thank you for loving the cardinals chspublish! God bless!

    • chspublish profile image


      7 years ago from Ireland

      I love the way you encourage the birds to gather on the snow laden trees. They're like bright sparks of fire on the winter landscape. Fascinating.

    • BenWritings profile image


      7 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      That was a very creative, and light-hearted poem, written with talent.

      Birds, like all animals, in my opinion, are without fault. They coexist, the way humans should. They live, without the torments of a fallen world. Their only fear, should be US.

      I enjoyed this :]

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow... this was so sweet, my uncle. I learn much from you about types of beautiful birds. I am birds lovers. Thanks for sharing this. I probably see these birds if I go to your country. I also enjoy all stunning pictures. Take care!


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless A.A. Zavala!

      amillar- Someone has a hub here about the video programs. The info is that the programs that come free on most computers is good enough to do it all. I had so much trouble I search everywhere for another. They all seem slow and complicated. I settled with Photo-Shop's Premier Elements 8.0. I honestly don't know if it's any better than anything out there. Before investing, try what your computer already has or try some "free programs" out there. God bless brother. Let me know how I can help further and keep me clued in as to how you do, please. God bless.

      Yo Tom! God bless you and that Justin!

      Dim Flaxenwick- you know I love you girl!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      This has to be one of THE best hubs ever. l can hardly believe the amount of little birds at your doorstep..................... You have such a kind heart and you see beauty everywhere, even though you´ve seen horrible things in your life. That´s quite an achievement for any human being. You are one in a million , Micky and l love you. xx

    • justom profile image


      7 years ago from 41042

      Only sunflower seeds at this house too brother. Good hub on those cool little red birds. Peace!! Tom and Justin

    • amillar profile image


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      That's a nice video BTW Micky TheBikingDude. Would you mind giving me some info on where to get a program like that?

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Beautiful poem about a beautiful bird. We had a mating pair in my back yard that return every year to eat berries of the shrub. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      You folks are so delightful! Thank you dear people for brightening the day. God bless you!

    • arb profile image


      7 years ago from oregon

      Hey Mickey! haven't seen a cardinal since moving west. Your write has helped me remenber their absence from my life. A forgotten joy remembered. Well done.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 

      7 years ago from Louisiana

      very intriguing hub! i have always had a fascination with the seven deadly sins. i think lying and cheating should be amongst them. love should conquer all, but lets face it in the real world, it doesnt always.

    • amillar profile image


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Nice one Micky. What a bonny wee bird the cardinal is. We don't have many brightly coloured birds in Scotland. There aren't many brightly coloured Cardinals either; the Church of Scotland ministers are an austere bunch, and they dress in black. But there's plenty of cardinal sinning -going by your definitions herewith.

    • vietnamvet68 profile image


      7 years ago from New York State

      I love my little cardinals Micky, they are so beautiful this time of year sitting in the Snow, the only time that mine get mad is when the feeder is empty.

      God Bless brother man

    • agusfanani profile image


      7 years ago from Indonesia

      Cardinal (the bird) is an inspiring creature that makes you able to write this excellent, in-depth hub. No doubt that it's beautiful and deserves voting up !. Thank you Micky.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Micky, I dub thee Sir Cardinal. You have earned a degree in Cardinalology with this fascinating, extensive discourse about cardinals (birds), cardinals (religious), cardinals (ball players), Christmas card-inals and the cardinal sins. You, sir, are a card!

      Thanks for this excellent journey.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo bro 50! I didn't put a much magic in this one. God bless you brotherman!

      God bless you Tina V! I do appreciate you dear!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Excellent and informative as well as the bird inserts you are getting good at tography manipulation, I was expecting to see my name falling like bird shit on a limb ha ha ha, dusty

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      7 years ago

      This is a well written article. It has a beautiful poetry and important information about the Cardinals. It also presents some thoughts to ponder on. I like your line, “if we truly posses love, we should have all the virtues.” This is another great collection of your hubs. Thumbs up!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Thank you all!

      Katie dear- I am so sorry. God bless you dear Katie. I'm praying for you and your mom. You have so many here who love you. God bless!

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona


    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Well Micky, you have blown me away with this total account of that little red bird. I had no idea that the subject covered such a broad range...including verse. Great job! WB

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Absolutely splendid hub about Cardinals. They are my favorite bird and we have been year-round in northern Florida. So, I keep in year-round. I watched a male cardinal get a little bit of food and put it in his female partner's mouth yesterday. I thought the music with the video was fantastic I would begin to know how to do that. I very much enjoyed all the information in the hub as well. Voted/rated beautiful!

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      My Mom had a stroke, I flew outta here and haven't been on line till yesterday. She was in the hospital for six days, then moved to a rehab facility for 7 days now, 13 days in all. Love and Peace, Katie

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image


      7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      ...excellent...such lovely birds...the video is great - good job!

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      A wonderful piece about a bird I love so much. These birds are by far my favorite birds. I love seeing them at my feeder and in winter they stand out so pretty against the white snow. Great write!

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 

      7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Wow.. MD this one is not strictly for the birds at all. Thanks, I have learned a lot about a bird that is absolutely nothing like a Tui - but does all the same things. Excellent hub mate, glad I stopped by.. Cheers take care.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      A tribute to Cardinals worthy of bird song Micky.;)

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you Fay!

      It's nice to see you Sharyn!

      Yo CMerritt! An albino cardinal! That is beautiful! God bless!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Mick, I especially like this one. I have several cardinal buddies in my backyard. I keep sunflower seeds on my grocery list. What a great bird they are.

      Too bad they got a bad rap to have share it's name with those who don't always live up to high standards they live up too.

      My brother has the honor of snapping a photo of an albino cardinal. Pretty cool.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      7 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Wow, took me forever to read this but well worth the time. Loved it! Great research and fun information. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      Micky, you hit a home run with this one. What a fine tribute to Cardinals. As you may have guessed...I have a soft spot for birds.

      "Humanity needs to stick TOGETHER!".....Amen!!!


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