Yesterday, I watched an almost full grown cardinal deal with a sudden downpour. Shortly after the storm started, the fledgling, who had been eating sunflower seeds at the birdfeeder before the rain started, made a beeline for a nearby mulberry tree. To the bird, the tree's dense foliage must have seemed like a good place to wait out the rain. Unfortunately, that plan didn't work out so well.
As I watched, the cardinal fluttered from one branch to another. "Would this perch work?" he seemed to be wondering "No? How about that one? No, that branch isn't dry enough either."
Back and forth the bird flew, rustling leaves and branches as it searched for a safe and dry perch. I don't know where the youngster finally settled, but I do know finding the right spot didn't come easy.
I had always assumed birds instinctively knew where to go and what to do when rain comes pelting down. But the juvenile cardinal proved me wrong. Just like with people, sometimes birds also make many mistakes before finally figuring out what works and what doesn't.
With all the rain lately, my little cardinal friend should have many opportunities to perfect the art of waiting out the rain. Stay dry, little fellow.