Passerines -

Northern Cardinal female, southern Maine, year-round resident

First, I have about 8-9 North Cardinals that stay with me year round. And this is because I never let the food become depleted……never. The food is hulled sunflower seed. I know I have that many Northern Cardinals here all year because I see them every day and on one day recently, 8-9 of them appeared at once on the bush you see in the background. Now that is a lot of living RED to see in one place at one time!

For me, this is the first acceptable Northern Cardinal image. I just happen to hit it on the button. I do not know why. I find these Cardinals to be terribly skittish, even though they have watched me fill that feeder every day for several years. They just do not like to see me in the window. The other bird species have no problem with seeing me in the window.

I deliberately left the wire in the image. Normally there is a wire cage atop this feeding tray and that short strip of wire attaches it to the tray. Its purpose is to exclude pigeons from the tray. But since the pigeons have temporarily forgotten about this spot, and I wanted to get some shots,…….I chose to leave the cage off for a day or two.

The Cardinals have started to sing solo from small trees drenched in sunrise light. They started toward the end of February. It is the very first sign of Spring around here. It is now March 7, 2014. The Mourning Doves will begin their incessant calls in about 1.5 to 2 weeks. We will see how far off I am. The maple sap is already running. Three days ago I noticed that patches of plummage on my American Goldfinches are turning vibrant yellow. So this is another sign of early Spring.

The other reason that I have a large group of American Goldfinches here is because a lot of them have now been born right here.