For eight years in a row, Eric caught the very same female cardinal. Eight years – that's about twice the average age of an adult cardinal. This aggressive female didn't just peck at the banders' fingers like other captured birds, but clamped its strong bill on to the soft flesh between his thumb and first finger. And held on tight. Ouch!
Each year that Eric re-caught the bird, he dreaded the experience, yet admired this particular Northern Cardinal.