From the archives: read the first part, on Mama Bird, here Cardinals mate for life. The male collects sticks for the nest, gathers food for the female, feeding her beak-to-beak, and occasionally even sits on the nest. Sometimes they sing to each other. I had no idea. I’ve never seen the male sitting on the nest or flying up into our stoop. But Wikipedia told me they do, so it must be true. If that’s the case, both are needed to make the family work on a daily basis. Then maybe papa bird feels the same tension between caring for his family and caring for himself that mama bird does. I know I do.