Well known for their vibrant vermillion plumage, cardinals are native to the Americas. While there are a variety of cardinals, the ones that call The Heart home are northern cardinals. When European settlers arrived and first saw the cardinal’s coat, they were reminded of the robes worn by Catholic Cardinals.
It’s interesting that the birds and clergymen have coats of red, thus stirring holy feelings in the settlers because many native legends also associate cardinals as a sacred symbol of hope. One Native American account says that Eagle asked each bird what power they desired. Many birds requested outlandish abilities, and Eagle gave them watered down versions of their desired powers. The Redbird requested to inspire faith and the promise of rain. Their humble and selfless request was granted by the Eagle.
Not only do they bring color to our days, especially the winter ones, they are lovely song birds. Their lilting is heard throughout The Heart. Just before camp, we are treated to the sight of fledglings learning to fly. The young birds are a sweet reminder of our purpose, to help these young ladies spread their wings in a safe environment.