The composition of species at the bird feeder progressively changes through the course of a day. I think of Blue Jays as the morning birds, because they make their most concentrated visits shortly after sunrise. At the other end of the day are the Cardinals, the last birds to leave the feeders in the evening gloaming. With an intensified twilight appearance at the feeders, Cardinals are definitely the evening birds.
The Cardinals are as difficult to count as the Blue Jays. There is a constant coming and going from the seed scattered beneath the Apple tree.
Cardinals usually fill the feeder to capacity. A Tree Sparrow, trying hard to maintain its place at the feeder, is about to be displaced by a Cardinal.
Fallen sunflower seed in the vicinity of the feeder is quickly cleaned up by the Cardinals. Rarely do they forage alone.
A mob typifies their more normal foraging behavior. Many of these birds, in the company of their parents, made their first journey to the feeder this past summer. Each year, I find a few Cardinal nests tucked away among thick cedar branches.
The glare of the setting sun sometimes makes it difficult to view the birds, but it also makes the Cardinals shine that much brighter. I haven’t seen many unusual birds at the feeder this year, but the residents have been here in strong numbers.