Return of the Cardinals

cardinal chomps seed
I’ve been good about filling my bird feeder for the past few weeks, and happily I was rewarded with a visit from a cardinal friend who is pictured chomping on a sunflower seed. He had a female friend nearby, but she didn’t allow herself to be photographed.

cardinal and sparrow
While the cardinal was examining the food, a sparrow lounged below the bird feeder. He looks quite fat, does he not?

We get a lot of sparrows – usually, they are thinner than this one and come in little “packs” of sparrows. I’ve never seen a cardinal and sparrow hang out together, but maybe they both like my food.

cardinal hiding in tree
When I tried to get closer to the cardinal, he flew into the trees and hid from my camera. It’s easier to photograph birds in late fall and winter, because the leaves have departed from the trees. We have filled quite a few leaf bags this fall.

I’m reading a book by David Sibley, Sibley’s Birding Basics and about bird identification, he writes:

Features like bill shape and wing shape are very consistent within species … one of the keys is to look past the brilliant colors and bold patterns of many marked birds and to look instead for details of things like face and wing pattern.

He writes this while showing a male and female cardinal in contrast to a summer tanager – while the reds of the tanager match the male cardinal, the male cardinal’s face matches that of his female companion.

For more nature notes:

Nature Notes

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