Friday, May 18, 2012

The Cardinal Finally Captured By The Camera

No critter can escape the backyard paparazza, a (female) freelance photographer who stalks pursues backyard critters and attempts to obtain candid, surreptitious or surprise shots of innocent animals and their families, often for publication on personal blogs (that would be me). Even the shy Cardinal doesn’t stand a chance against my obnoxiously aggressive picture taking. Sooner or later the camera gets them all.

Because the Cardinal is always so nervous and flies away at the slightest sign of threat, this set of photos didn’t come out as sharp as I’d hoped. But at least I landed a few shots. Finally.

Tries to hide, but sticks out like a sore thumb...

Despite being a little skittish, Cardinals do visit bird feeders. They are partial to fruit and to sunflower seeds. I don’t supply the former all that often, but the latter is there quite regularly for the taking.

He finally decided to be brave and come out of hiding.

Cardinals are monogamous, and they dedicate most of their time toward their partner, and raising their young. Males often feed the females as part of their courtship behaviour.

They always show up for the food.

This feeder has black sunflower seed in it. The birds go crazy for it!

They are fiercely protective of their nests and have been known to go so far as fighting their own reflection in the belief that they are warding off an intruder.

He seems to love this plastic sunflower. I put water in it for the birds.

He's such a handsome devil, isn't he?

Wondering if he should take a sip.

Cardinals were once popularly kept as pets, but their sale as cage birds was banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

He looks so cool on the fence.

Only the male cardinal sports the bright red feathers. The female may not be quite as colourful, but she is just as unique; she is one of the few female birds in North America that can sing.

He doesn't stick around long, so I always have to move quickly with the camera!

And speaking of singing, I found this really cool video about the cardinal and its funky voice that I’d like to share with you. It’s really interesting, so if you have a few minutes to spare, take a look at it.


12 comments:

  1. He really is a "blaze of colour" isn't he? You've captured him so well!

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    1. He's a beautiful bird. I just love how intense the red is.

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  2. I really enjoyed the video. While the female is not as flashy as the male, I think she's very pretty and a bit more interesting with all of her markings. I could totally see myself getting into serious bird watching as I get older!

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    1. I think the femals is very pretty, too. And when they're together, they're adorable. A pair showed up in my garden last year, and the male was feeding the female. It was adorable to watch.

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  3. The cardinals are such a beautiful bird. Love to hear them sing too. Your photos are perfect!

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    1. I love listening to them sing. They have such a great sound.

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  4. Dear Martha,
    I love my birds so very much! I really need to do a post on cardinals myself, I have just a few stories about them. I couldn't get the video to work!

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    1. That would be great if you did a post about them, Kay. I'd love to see one; I always enjoy when your posts include birds. I also love the birds that come by for a visit. They really liven up my garden.

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  5. Well that was totally fscinating. I must admith that I was horrified to think that people used to keep them in cages. The video was really great. Really enjoyed the bird songs!

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    1. It was a total surprise to me to learn that cardinals were once caged birds. I'm glad that it's no longer the case.

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  6. Thanks so much for this Martha! We haven't had a Cardinal visit since we've been here, for 21 years now. They have started to visit the city and we saw pone in the 'park' there. We would be overjoyed if one stopped by.
    These photos are incredible....your have found your niche!

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    1. Wow, Jim, really? I wonder why. I find them to be quite shy, so they don't come by very often, or stick around too long when they do, but we do see one now and again.

      As for the photo taking, I'm having the time of my life, and my photography classes are starting the first week of June, so you can well imagine how excited I am!

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