Monday, November 26, 2007

Cardinal Family

Over the spring and summer we had a very aggressive male cardinal that made our Saturn Vue his rival of choice. He would fly over to the car, perch on the passenger side window and peck at his reflection in the passenger side rear view mirror. If we folded the mirror in he would land on the roof rack and peck at his image in the chrome. He was relentless and we took to chasing him off, while finding his antics utterly charming.

Now that the weather has turned and we actually have a chill in the air, we have birds galore at the feeder. I've seen our cardinal friend a few times and then this morning I finally saw, what I assume is, his mate. I don't recall ever seeing a female cardinal, but they are very striking -- not the bright red of the male, but a burnt orange with a bright orange beak.

I know very little about cardinals, but I have read that they don't migrate, have a territory range of about a mile, and they have picky eating habits -- they like to face their food as opposed to sitting sideways. After seeing the female this morning I am fairly certain that there is a nesting spot not far off, perhaps in the neighbors backyard. My goal this winter is to nurture this cardinal pair and hopefully find where they are nesting. Of course this will also involve keeping a close eye on the dreaded hunter that we house, Minou, to keep her away from the feeders!

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