Nature Notes: Cardinal, Berries, Squirrel

cardinal in burning bush
I’m thinking of buying a bird feeder for the cardinals that like to congregate on the side of my house. Suggestions for a type of bird feeder are welcome.

cranesbill and snow
Finally, the snow is being to melt. As the snow recedes, one can see the spring plants poking out from under, as my cranesbill (genus geranium) is doing in this photo.

red berry bush
In winter just about the only bright color I see (besides the white of the snow before it turns gray or black) is red, as in a red berry bush like this one. I took this shot with my new Canon macro lens (Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Compact Macro AutoFocus).

I’m afraid if I start feeding the cardinals, this little guy, Mr. Squirrel, will help himself as well. I did see two squirrels under the burning bush where the cardinals like to hang out.

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Michelle (host of Nature Notes), feel better!

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13 thoughts on “Nature Notes: Cardinal, Berries, Squirrel

  • These are all delightful shots. I didn’t know how to describe the types of feeders I used to have that cardinals liked so I googled and will copy what I found below. At this point I mostly feed the birds in bad weather and when they have new babies and I put the seed on top of my deck wall which the cardinals love. Anyway below is a pretty good explanation of what cardinals like:
    “Cardinals are very eager to dine at most any available bird feeder but prefer a steady, stationary feeder over a hanging bird feeder. Pole-mounted gazebo feeders tend to be more accommodating to Cardinals and are usually more successful in attracting them. Cardinals also prefer bird feeders that are about 5-6 feet above the ground.”

    • Thank you, Carver, for the advice on pole-mounted feeders for cardinals.

      I will probably just do the feeding in the winter… in the spring, summer and fall, all the birds peck away at my compost and ignore the feeder.

  • I looked at my reader to make sure I didn’t miss anything like anyone sick and saw this. Cardinals are picky about their feeders. They have short necks and can’t turn them as much as say a goldfinch so they like to stand and face their food like on a platform feeder. They also aren’t crazy about ones with perches. Your window tray could accommodate them I think and if you put just black sunflowers seeds or white safflower seeds you might get chickadees and some other birds without attracting too many sparrows. If you want more info, when I get to feeling better, I will look it up for you..

    • The window tray is all the way on the other side of my house, on my garage. Maybe I could put one on a basement window, but I’m afraid it would get covered in snow quickly.

      I just saw a lady cardinal in that area on the side of my house, hanging out with two sparrows.

  • Great photos, especially the male Cardinal.

    Our Cardinals also prefer a platform feeder. Cute though they are, squirrels can be difficult to defeat. A free-standing platform on a pole is always an option.

  • Feeding the birds is great, but you must protect the feeder/food from the squirrels. We have success with a pole type of feeder out in the lawn, away from trees so no critters can jump, only fly onto it. It has a wide, smooth barrier on the pole below the feeder, looks like a chinese coolie hat, that works perfectly. The squirrels help clean up what has spilled on the ground, and all are fat and happy.

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