Tuesday, July 7, 2015

THE CARDINALS

We did a bit of bird watching while at the farm and it didn't take long to find out that our property is home to a LOT of cardinals.  

They were everywhere. 

Red Cardinal
 In fact, I missed what would have been an awesome picture, there were about five sitting on different branches of one tree and when I went to get the camera, they scattered.  Of course.  They weren't ready for their closeup I suppose.  

After some reading, I found out that they love black sunflower seeds.  I'm going this week to buy some and take with me this coming weekend.  I'd like to find a bird feeder to keep the seeds in instead of just scattering them around.

Cardinal
The thing we love about them is that with all the green, they just stand out like ornaments in a Christmas tree.

Anyone have any cardinal suggestions?


30 comments:

Dani said...

I don't know if they like sugar water - our two bottles are a huge hit, and we have to re-fill them every two days. I am so blown away by the bird / animal life we see here that I have a special page on my blog to record what I see - when I am lucky enough to be able to take a pic lol

donna baker said...

Yes. Look back a ways to see my cardinal pics on a tree during snow this winter. There were about 20 at one time. I love them. Good shot. The shells on sunflower seeds are toxic to plants. I was feeding that way too and all the seeds would fall down in my potted plants, Then I read about the toxicity. I now feed only the sunflower hearts and there is zero waste. All my birds love it.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i have tons of them here and i will tell you this...they will eat you out of house and home! i feed mine indirectly, they eat all of my berries!

Peg said...

We have a squirrel proof feeder which also keeps the grackles and other large birds from raiding it. If there's too much weight on the perch, the access to seeds is closed. The perch lowers and so does a cover over the seeds. Here's a link to one similar to ours. Ours is many years old and we've replaced the perch, but it is otherwise in great shape. This one is a similar style, but not identical to ours. You can look around and see what's out there. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=9138&kpid=36634&cmpid=10cseYY&ref=XXXX&subref=AA%26catargetid=530005150000154239%26cadevice=c%3Fref=6111%26cmpid=10csegb

Karren said...

Peg is right, other birds will eat it all if you don't block them with a special feeder. We feed only the smaller size black oil sunflower seeds and in feeders that block the big birds, so it's not too terribly expensive to feed them. This is a good one too: https://www.lehmans.com/p-8246-soda-bottle-bird-feeder-adapter.aspx?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&utm_campaign=1266810&zmam=32933335&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=1266810&gclid=CjwKEAjw8e2sBRCYte6U3suRjFESJAB4gn_gaH_M6No5Hl68pRWiOojHKY1Yx1nrjQjpmfau7AF21hoCq3nw_wcB but you have to find a way to hang it so the squirrels can't get to it. The tiny space for the seeds to come out is so little that the jays can't get in and scoop them all out and dump them on the ground. We put ours on a slim pole with a squirrel baffle about half way up and all the small birds can feed fine, but the grackles and squirrels can't. They take about 5 days to empty it.

laurie said...

that is the best description ever, like Christmas ornaments, yes,

Marcia said...

Funny story: my husband had to hang a sheet over the glass panel in his study's outside door because a juvenile male cardinal kept flying into it. He saw his reflection and thought it was a rival. This went on for a week. He's wised up now and sticks to chasing other real male cardinals.

Anne in the kitchen said...

We used to feed the cardinals sunflower seed, until we realized the cat next door thought we had set a nice red bird bait station for him. After finding a couple of cardinal carcasses we decided it would be best for the birds if we didn't feed them anymore.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Cardinals love sunflowers, safflowers, soft white bread broken in small pieces, peanuts (unsalted, raw only). I am always taking my old bread breaking it up into small pieces and putting it out for the birds. I make sure it's not dry and stale because they can't swallow stale bread.

I would also make a bird bath, birds are attracted to water. It's easy to make a bird bath, use an old stump, take an old dish (kind of deep, or with sides) and silicone it to the stump. Let it dry, then put fresh clean water in for the birds. You can buy bird baths, they range from $40 bucks and up. I find it easier to make one and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

Elephant's Child said...

We feed the birds. And buy our birdseed in twenty kilo bags. I can't tell you how much time we spend watching them - every day. Not wasted time either.

FionaG said...

We feed our birds too but be aware that the mice and rats will come too if you leave excess sitting around.

DFW said...

We have cardinals in the city but none in the country. I'll post a pic of our squirrel proof feeders soon. We had tried every kind known to us & finally happened upon the perfect one for us.

Texas Rose said...

Cardinals are kinda shy - they come to the feeder after the rush is over. They also like to visit the feeder in the late evening. One of my favorite birds.

1st Man said...

Awesome, thanks for that. And by the way, I just visited your animals page and loved it. Fascinating and I need to start keeping our pics in one place too.

1st Man said...

I will look for that. I bet it was a sight to see. And yes, red cardinals in white snow is another beautiful thing to see. I had NO idea about the shells. Thanks of that info!

1st Man said...

Ha, good advice as well, little ravenous eaters huh?

1st Man said...

That's pretty cool! Thanks for the link. Will check that out. I rarely see squirrels but sure as don't, and fill up a feeder, we might get them, ha.

1st Man said...

Well now that's pretty awesome too! Thank you!!! And I love Lehman's, ha. Thanks again~

1st Man said...

Aww, thanks for that. It really was what I thought of when I first saw them. :-)

1st Man said...

Oh my gosh, now that is funny!!! That was one defensive cardinal huh? Ha!

1st Man said...

Yikes!! I think we're safe for that but I will have to keep that in mind. I will make sure we put something up higher and out of cat reach. ;-)

1st Man said...

I will keep this in mind. Of course, leftover bread is scarce around here when 2nd Man bakes some, LOL. We have a concrete birdbath at the farm that "Ma" left behind, It's in two pieces (and very heavy) but I think it's time to get it out and find a home for it. We also have a few stumps that I'm now going to eyeball. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

WOW! You've got a lot of well fed birds huh, LOL! Not wasted time at all, it's a window into a whole other world. And we love it!

1st Man said...

Oooh, good point, we do not want more mice, that's for DANG sure. Thanks!

1st Man said...

OH, thanks for that. You know I really haven't seen any squirrel at the farm but they could be there. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

They are so neat huh? I didn't know about them being shy. I'll have to watch for that. Thank you for the tips!

Colleen said...

We have cardinals that come and visit our yard quite often and found that they prefer our platform feeders compared to the hanging ones.
The Cardinal is a seedeater with a strong bill. They like fruits - small berries - and insects. Towards autumn they frequently ascend to the tops of tall trees in search of grapes and berries. Cardinals tend to be as fond of succulent or pulpy fruits as they are of the seeds of corn and grasses. Cardinals are very beneficial as they also eat a variety of weed seeds and insects that that can be injurious to humans.
You can always tell when a cardinal is near by just by their chirping sound that they make. They are always a joy seeing and having them around.
Great photos by the way.

Carol said...

I second the mice and rats comment. I stopped putting sunflower seed on the ground - because I was told cardinals like to feed from the ground - when I saw the mice. Love your blog, BTW.

Midnite Baker said...

Remember that bare patch next to the fence? Plant some sunflower seeds next year and you will have flowers for the bees, seeds for your bird friends and taken care of that bare problem. Then again, I don't know if sunflowers can grow in your soil conditions. Anyway, just a thought. M

Anonymous said...

Don't clean up too much. Cardinals nest in large bushes. My Photinias are their favorites. They also love to eat succulents so be careful what you have in pots outdoors. They are also a favorite target for hawks. Maybe because they are so bright. Enjoy them. They are lovely birds. Julia