Alas, the sliding glass door finally claimed a victim. Generally when the birds hit it, they do so at no great speed, since the trees block most of the avenues of approach, and they flap away, shedding down and looking embarassed, but unharmed. Even the doves, who sound like cannonballs when they careen into the glass, are usually unhurt.

The female cardinal today, however, must have come down in a stuka-like dive, because she hit the glass at ramming speed and broke her neck. Up close, she was an odd, patchy bird with surprisingly pale breast feathers shading into neon shoulders. Like many birds, the colors seem oddly artificial up close. I considered photographing her, but she was one of our mite-afflicted birds, and I figured it wasn’t worth that much close contact with her parasites. Alas, poor cardinal. Bummer.

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