Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cardinal Rules

Throughout the spring it has looked very much like the property (or at least parts of) is supporting two or even three breeding pairs of Northern Cardinals. And what is interesting is that two of the feeder stations appear to be on the borderlands. I'm reasoning out these borders on the basis of where male birds clash or coexist. Weirdly, two of them are relatively calm at the main feeder tree, suggesting some kind of peace exists there. The north station is likely part of an entirely different territory that includes homes to my west and north: different birds show up there, and the primary male (shown) is by plumage the youngest I see. That leaves the southwest station as central to the choicest territory, one that is stick with vines and has a well stocked (and rapidly drained) safflower seed feeder. I am expecting a flood of young birds when they fledge: might even rival the explosion I saw in 2010!

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