Saturday, February 1, 2014

Northern Cardinals: Among My Favorite Birds

A few of these beautiful birds frequent our feeders daily.  A few days ago, I counted 4 males and 2 females feeding within 20 feet of each other.  However, the males are known to be territorial and fairly aggressive and will often attack each other.   I've witnessed that regularly.  It isn't as easy to capture photos of the cardinals because they will keep a distance when I'm outdoors.  Usually they will fly to trees on the other side of our driveway and perch there, watching me, waiting for me to go away.   If I'm dressed in dark colors and sit very still for several minutes, they'll eventually come close enough for me to capture a few shots.  They are smart and very observant...if I move only a few inches, they know it.  

The cardinals are usually the first birds to arrive at feeders in the early morning and the last to leave in the evening.  They prefer to dine when there isn't much competition from other birds. I've also noticed they prefer to eat on the ground or porch rails.  I think their size makes it difficult to eat from the feeders.  I read that these birds like platform feeders, so come spring I plan to purchase one.  

Cardinals are among my favorite birds.  I love watching the bright reds of the males swoop around our trees and hop along the porch rails.  In spring and summer, their songs are as beautiful as their plumage.  Northern Cardinals sing about twenty or so different tunes according to expert birders.  It's wonderful to sit on the porch in the early mornings, sip on a good cup of coffee and listen to the peaceful songs of the Cardinals.


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