cardinals, defending food, cardinal mates

Cardinal Wildly Flapping Wings Defensively

Hopper, Suet, Tray Feeders Can Always Keep the Cardinal Happy, If Not Defensive

Cardinals are plentiful in many areas of the country, but are always an awesome sight no matter how many times you see them. The red covered feathers have a glowing effect and never cease to brighten your day in good or bad weather. You are fortunate if you live in the East, Midwest or portions of the Southwest to see and feed cardinals. The birds aren’t so available in the Northwest region.

Male cardinals can be fully red in color or have black coloring on the face. The male’s colors become brighter during mating season. Female cardinals don’t possess such bright red colors, providing a view of pale brown features as well, but their large orange bills are just as impressive.

The sounds of singing become more prominent among cardinals as they are eating. Their whistling is even joyous at other times, and you can call back by imitating the sounds. The cardinals will turn and look for another cardinal.

Cardinals love their food and can turn aggressive against other birds when vying for a meal. They seem to enjoy searching for food in pairs or in groups of cardinals. Males often share their morsels of food with females during mating season. Some of the foods cardinals enjoy include bread, baked goods, peanuts and corn as well as sunflower or safflower seeds. Suet feeders also please cardinals.

The aggressiveness of males comes on stronger during breeding season if other males approach a couple. The male cardinal is known to quickly attack a male rival. Their defensive mechanisms are so pronounced, they will even attack reflections of themselves. It’s not uncommon for a cardinal to attack a glass window or mirror when it sees its reflection, thinking a rival is present.

female cardinal, cardinal mates, male cardinal

Cardinal Mates — Female on the Left and Male on the Right

This perceived rivalry could even occur on your car window or mirror. The pecking on glass may seem like lively entertainment for a time, but the cardinal could indeed hurt itself during the false attack. Cardinals remain single minded and want that opponent destroyed.

If you happen to be at home and you hear tapping noises on a window, it could be a vengeful cardinal at work. You might even notice this when a cardinal awakes you in the morning with constant tapping on a glass window. Feel free to protect the cardinal by putting a covering over the glass if you notice it doesn’t stop its assault or keeps coming back for another attack. You can use any material to darken and erase the reflection if you can’t close curtains or shades to block the image. Netting or anything you have handy can get rid of the reflection.

Filed under: Cardinal Feeders