On the dull and dreary winter days it is wonderful to look out the window and see a brilliant splash of red from the cardinal as it visits the garden. The tree below is towards the back of the garden and I don’t always get the sharpest of photos through the window. I hate to open the door as the cardinal is very skittish and will fly further back into the garden. I love the unexpected surprise of the goldfinch at the nyger feeder in this photo. I was focused on the cardinal and didn’t notice it till I uploaded to the computer.
Usually the male and female cardinals come in daily to check out their favourite feeder for safflower. We have a dedicated feeder (the one in the lower right) that is filled with safflower seed. Most birds don’t eat this seed so it is always there for the cardinals.
The Northern Cardinals are one of the most admired birds by birdwatchers. In my part of Canada they are year round residents.
The male is a bright red with a pointed crest on the top of his head. The female is mostly buff brown in color with some red on her head, wings, and tail.
This isn’t a sharp photo either but you can see the safflower seed in its beak. Both birds have small black masks on their faces that surround the bill and eyes. Both birds are about 20 to 22 cm. long.
When their feeder is empty the cardinals will venture onto the flat feeder to see what might tempt them.