Occasionally I see a pair of Cardinals in our front yard. Our feeders are in the back yard and the Cardinals rarely visit them. In an attempt to lure them to the feeder I bought safflower seeds- advertised as a Cardinal favorite. Eventually the male Cardinal did visit and sample the new seeds. During the winter it was always special to see his bright red feathers against the white snow and drab backgrounds. Unfortunately an unlucky female Cardinal fell victim to a predator and only her tiny skull, some blood and a few red tipped feathers remained. Activity at the feeders was slow to nonexistent that day. I’m guessing that was not a coincidence.
The Cardinals seem shy and cautious compared to the Blue Jays, Chickadees and Juncos. They never come close enough for me to get a good photograph. It might also be time for a better camera. In any event, some photos I did manage to get were used in today’s collage. Trying to illustrate different bird adages isn’t always easy. Since I was not able to find a saying specific to Cardinals, I chose “In Fine Feather.” Some basic information about these birds is available on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.
The squirrel proof feeder in the collage was purchased at a local thrift shop. It was first hung on a branch a little too close to the tree trunk. Clever squirrels managed to reach it while hanging upside down on the tree trunk. They were able to reach the seeds without stepping on the bar that would close the feed tray. The feeder was moved further away from the trunk and the squirrels have not been able to access the safflower seeds. Although other species are also enjoying the special seeds, it clearly remains the only attraction for Cardinals in our back yard.