Friday, February 27, 2015

Cardinals - The Evening Birds

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.

The tree itself is packed with resting Cardinals.  The blue of the morning Blue Jays is now replaced with the red of the evening Cardinals.

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.


  1. I can't believe the number of birds at your feeder - first Blue Jays, and now Cardinals. If we ever did get any it would be just one or two.

  2. Hi, Furry Gnome. I think the fact that I feed year round is partly responsible for the large number of resident birds using the feeder during the winter. Feed consumption drops off considerably during the summer, but both Cardinals and Blue Jays regularly bring their young to the feeder. As we progress into winter, the activity of these regulars tends to attract more birds to the feeder.