Saturday, September 17, 2011


To find the post with the Cherry Tango original art give-away scroll down.

If you have ever wondered if you are the only one that is going grey and tearing your hair out from the stresses of raising a family in todays world, I think that I have found proof that will reassure you that you are not alone... in fact, as many know it is not only the human race that has to deal with the demands of keeping a family fed, sheltered and out of harms way.

3 short weeks ago I posted this photo on my Nature page of a male Northern Cardinal that I had taken in my back yard. At the time, "Mr C" had been coming steadily to our sunflower feeder for about a week numerous times during the day, stuffing his beak with seeds and flying off again...Cardinals mate for life, but all we saw was the male no lady Cardinal around, so although we had seen females around previously we didn't know if this was an unattached male or if something had happened to his mate.  After another week or so of this behaviour, we again observed a female cardinal at the feeder, sometimes with the male but usually the 2 of them were a tag team of red coming and going all day long.

Hmmmm.....this behaviour made me think that they had a nest somewhere and when "Mrs C" was absent she was sittin' and he was busy carrying seeds back to the nest to feed her. Once the 2 of them showed up together and started stuffing seeds greedily into their beaks and quickly flying off I knew they had a baby cardinal stashed somewhere.

Moving forward a couple more weeks and now we have the whole family coming to the feeder, there isn't just one baby cardinal (which is all they have had in the past) they have 3 babies this year!!! They are noisy and fussy and demanding and they sit in the apple tree and chirp and flap their wings and open their mouths wide for the seeds that Daddy and Mummy Cardinal can hardly split open and feed fast enough! go back up and take a look at the Daddy on August 26th.....isn't he a beauty, so red and proud!
...and here is a shot that I took of the daddy today:

 (((sigh))) Can you believe it!  Poor fellow, his beautiful crest is completely gone and he is going grey, and not just on top of his head! LOL!

and here is a photo of the Momma with the 3 babies in the apple tree, the mother is the one on the left side of the 2 sitting together on the branch. Observe that the babies are as big as her but a lot fatter and fluffier! Momma is looking a little ragged but she hasn't lost her crest like her mate.

and here is a shot of one of babies closeup, no idea whether a he or a she, they all pretty much look the same right now! very pretty colouring they have, almost a peach colour with grey and touches of olive.
I am very pleased to have been able to help this family to get this far, I hope the babies stick around at least for the winter, we have only ever had one pair over the winter in all the years of feeding the birds.

So, there you go, if you ever wondered.......8-)


1 comment:

Ev said...

Wonderful photos, Joann! My goodness - that poor fella - I've never seen anything like that. Do you suppose he got in a fight or is going gray because he's anticipating his children becoming teenagers?!