Our juvenile Northern Cardinal arrived in the summer and was soon joined by a juvenile female. These birds are a big deal out this way since we've only seen about a half dozen over seventeen years. I think it is safe to assume that the male has successfully survived our winter out here on the edge of the coastal barrens but alas the female disappeared. The birds had paired up and travelled everywhere together. The female may be working another nearby feeding station since I saw what I thought was a female two weeks ago fly off with the male. In any case the male has set up shop here and started singing a couple of weeks ago so another female or the same female will soon appear.
This bird learned its survival skills well. It is extremely skittish and stays hunkered in the multflora bramble. I wisely placed the platform feeder directly adjacent to the multiflora shrub. It stopped coming to the window feeder in the fall, a smart move since Sharp-shinned Hawks regularly over-winter here. The hawk has little hope of trapping a bird in this shrub. I saw one try once and it was sad since it got tangled with its wings gripped tight by the barbs. It did free itself eventually just as I was donning my welding gloves to go and rescue it.
Here's a photo of the male Northern Cardinal from last summer.
Here's a photo of the same bird from this morning.
The photo above was taken at extreme range and is severely cropped. Focus and stability is iffy since the multflora tangle is introducing front focus and the shutter speed was low at 1/400 second at 840mm.
Never use song playback or utter "phishing" noises to pull a bird from protective cover. This is irresponsible and could result in the death of the bird.
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