Monday, March 16, 2009

Today was a fairly nice day, nice enough to take pictures outside of some of the new birdhouses I made. The birds are back and checking out the yard. Today I was able to get a glimpse of a beautiful cardinal and figured this would be worth writing about.

Cardinals can be found in the eastern United States. The male cardinal has beautiful red feathers, a black throat and face mask and a head crest. The female is light brownish yellow with red tinted wings and tail. The female also has a head crest.

Most cardinals prefer bird feeders that are 4-6 feet high from the ground. They do not like hanging feeders. The more secure the bird feeder the better. Throwing birdseed on the ground is a good idea if you have cardinals around because they really enjoy ground feeding. What are some of their favorite types of birdseed? Black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and striped sunflower seeds. They love to feed early in the morning and will be one of the last types of birds to leave the feeder in the evening. You may also attract Blue Jays, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Evening Grosbeaks with this type of seed.

Cardinals enjoy water. Setting up a bird bath in your yard is important to attracting them. Bird baths also help keeping other birds around. Since cardinals do not migrate, having plenty of water, the correct type of feeder and this birds favorite seeds, you may just find yourself with a cardinal family for many years to come.

The female nests two or three times a year in small trees, bushes and shrubs and lays three to four eggs. These eggs are light green/dull gray with reddish brown specks. She incubates them for approx. 13 days before they hatch. The male and female cardinal share the parental duties. Baby cardinals leave the nest approx. 11 days after they are hatched. By the time they leave the nest, they really do not look like a cardinal yet. They are still covered with gray downy feathers.

If you are lucky enough to watch a family of cardinals before the fledglings leave, then you are in for a treat. Cardinal parents will teach their young how to feed from bird feeders. What a great hobby to be a bird watcher. Not only are you able to watch, feed and learn about birds, but you can really appreciate nature and connect to it.

1 comment:

BizzieLizzie said...

OH MY - I LOVE cardinals!! I'm fortunate enough that they are all over my yard and I get to hear them sing daily!! This picture is GORGEOUS!!