THE BIRD WHO REMEMBERED ME Brad Abendroth

I work in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. During lunch hours and breaks,I always used to like feeding shelled peanuts to birds from my car.When I came outside, I would have quite a crowd of birds hangingOut on a red pine near the spot I always would park in. Other birds,Such as blue jays, chickadees, and WB nuthatches would beWaiting as well.A Northern Cardinal I named Cy, after the Iowa State Cyclone mascot,Was very comfortable with me, so I could always get pretty closeTo him. I started feeding Cy at least seven years ago. In fiveOr so years, I saw him through experiencing a couple of baldPhases, losing all his tail feathers, attracting a mate, havingOffspring, etc.Two years ago he eventually went missing. I didn’t see him for fourTo six months. I thought another male might have pushed him outOf his territory. Either that or Cy had passed away. I continuedTo feed the cardinals but I knew none of them was him.There is also a lake nearby my office. On a walk one day, I foundCy again on the other side of the lake. Since then, I would alwaysMake an effort to see him during my lunch hours.Our company moved last spring, so I didn’t make it over to the lakeAnymore, until one late-summer day this year. I was running someErrands and I decided to stop at the lake.I didn’t come prepared with peanuts in pocket as I usually do.I was trying to phish out some warblers. Then I heard the familiarChirping of a cardinal. It got louder and louder. Within moments,Cy appeared from out of the brush.I apologized to him that I had no peanuts. I teetered on decidingWhat I should do. Do I get back to work now? Or should I returnLate, drive to the grocery store, and return to feed Cy?Yes, I decided to get some peanuts. Cy followed me back down thePath, chirping away until he finally gave up.When I returned to the lake, it didn’t take long for Cy to flyToward me again along that narrow path. He was chirping his littleHeart out.I placed a pile of shelled peanuts along the path for him. He ateVery well. I love that bird.

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