What struck me about seeing this bird is how weird it is to see something in person that you've seen thousands of times in photos -- it's almost like it's more real in the photos than in reality. I had that same feeling the first time I went to the Paris Air Show and saw the Eiffel Tower. I remember thinking "Oh, it looks just like the pictures..." Well, yeah.
Over the weekend, I'm going to try to get my own photo of my own cardinal. It's so bright red.