Caught by the River

Matt's Bird of the Week – Cardinal

Matt Sewell | 3rd May 2011

Cardinalis Cardinalis by Matt Sewell.

I stumbled upon this bright, young punk in Central Park whilst I was in New York recently putting on a solo show. My trip was for twelve days, working round the clock for all but one and a half days after the opening of my exhibition. In these last days I tried to cram in as much of the Big Apple in as possible, so in the last few hours we breezed up to Central Park to take in the sites. But my real aim was to spot a Red Tailed Hawk that Ceri had told me to keep my eyes peeled for. Time was tight and after a stroll, a hot-dog and a few conversations with the resident mad people we headed home, with nothing but a few spots of some weird robin/blackbird hybrid. But just as we were literally leaving the gates my girlfriend shouted ‘Matt whats that!!’ and there he was, the Cardinal in all is vibrant blush glory.

Looking like a mohicaned, american cousin of a bullfinch and proud as punch, he hung around a while to let me have a good old look before chirping and heading off as if to say “I’m just the tip of the iceberg mate, but you’ll be back. Now go home and tell your people of me!” He was great, I’m sure they are as common as Starlings over there but for me he was everything I needed to seal an amazing trip and to get me back home.

Matt Sewell bird badges are now on sale in the Caught by the River shop.

Click here to see previous birds of the week.