Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Captivating Cardinals

Of all the birds that visit my backyard, cardinals have been the most difficult to photograph. They never stick around long enough for me to load up my camera; the slightest sign of danger has them quickly flying away to safety. But last week I got lucky one morning with a couple of males that were chasing each other around right outside my kitchen window.

My daughter is the one that actually spotted them, and as soon as she did, she yelled for me to hurry to the kitchen to “see the cardinals”. Oh my, more than one! I raced to get my camera, all the while telling myself that I’d never make it on time because I never do. But this time I got really lucky; they stuck around long enough for me to grab a couple of shots.

[I know the photos are not the greatest quality, but that’s the best my old
camera can do through a kitchen window so early in the morning.

I told my daughter that these two males were probably chasing each other for one of two reasons:

1) They were fighting over the food in the bird feeder
2) They were fighting over a woman.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? About five seconds later, a female flew in and landed between them. Sadly, she didn’t stick around long enough for me to snap a photo of her. Still. Watching the male cardinals trying to impress that little lady was a lovely way to start the morning.

And you know, I swear I saw a smile on the female cardinal's face. With the way those two males were behaving, just like clowns, who could blame her? They reminded me of some teenage boys I knew in high school.


Once the testosterone battle was over, the fella in the picture below flew onto our maple tree and sang his little heart out.

I wonder if he was singing the blues because his heart was broken. I didn’t see the female coming around anymore, so perhaps the little lady he was trying to impress chose the other dude. Poor little critter...


  1. Martha girl they are such striking birds aren't they ! .. That was great you finally had the camera at hand and they stayed long enough to get "snapped" LOL
    You have a little bird girl in the making there for you ;-)

  2. They really are such beautiful birds. I've heard them singing all winter here, but am rarely able to get a good shot. You were really fortunate to get those photos.

    I loved your comparison of the two cardinals and their antics to high school boys. :-)

  3. Joy, I just love cardinals. I can spot them a mile away since the trees don't have their leaves yet. I'm sure the cardinals can't wait for the leaves to grow back so they can have a place to hide. Anyway, I'm happy to have had an opportunity to take a few pictures. Cardinals never stick around very long, and with my camera so slow to load, I never make it on time.

    You may be right; perhaps my daughter will enjoy some of the things her mother does - like the birds. I talk about it enough :)

    Beth, the cardinals and the blue jays are my favourites, next to the goldfinches, of course. Can't forget about them. Oh, and there are the orioles, too. And the hummingbirds... Oh, my, I guess I like a lot of them :)

    I couldn't help but add the teenage boys in there. I remember how goofy they would act when a girl they liked was nearby. They'd try to impress her by making a fool of themselves...:)