Sunday, December 27, 2009

Red and the Black-oil Sunflower Seed

In that strange half-light between day and night when the sun starts to sink and the shadows lengthen and eventually disappear...and the day birds go home to roost for the night, tucking their heads under their wings and snuggling close for warmth, Red, my little dusk-bird, hangs on, eating those last few sunflower seeds and chipping out his last dusk-call until the light is all gone...

...with dusk fast approaching, Red finds a sunflower seed among a fresh dusting of snowflakes.

Winter, spring, summer or fall, I can always count on the Northern Cardinals being the last birds at the feeder.

Little dusk-time Red's chip is always a happy sound. Even with the windows closed in winter, I can hear him calling out his location as darkness approaches.

...it's dusk, it's cold......must find another seed....

Red seems to know a surface low pressure system is on the way that will leave a trough in its wake making conditions right for snowfall as an upper-level disturbance sweeps through with heavy precip----or maybe he's just hungry... ;-)

...why are you just sitting there on the floor clicking that camera? Snow is on the way...go to Kroger's and get some bread and milk!

32 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love to see the Cardinals in the snow... They are so pretty against the white background!!!! My Cardinals do the same thing. They are the first to eat in the morning and the last to leave the feeders right before dark!!!!

Hope you and your family had a great Christmas.
Hugs,
Betsy

Bill S. said...

Beautiful pictures. I love birds in the snow and cold. They love us when we feed and water them.

Steve Willson said...

The snow didn't make it this far east until after dark, so I'll have to wait until morning to see how much we got. I know the Cardinals will be the first birds waiting in the apple tree for me to put out the sunflower seed.

The habit of staying up late gets some Cardinals into trouble. One year I found owl pellets containing several Cardinal bills. The early owl gets the birds.

Kelly said...

Betsy....they are gorgeous in the snow, aren't they? I bet cardinals are responsible for a lot of people getting into birds. They are just so striking.... We had a great Christmas. Hope you did too.

Bill...thank you! I love seeing them in the snow too....the snow is so beautiful and it just sets off the birds, especially when they are all puffed up keeping themselves warm. My birds must love me because I put a lot of seed out there for them! :-)

Steve....we didn't get as much as hope for. They said up to 3 inches, but it looks more like two. I'd like to get a lot more. Yikes! I guess the early owl does get the cardinals. I bet it's easy pickings for them...

Roy said...

We lost most of our snow in the last two days; temps in the 50s and it rained overnight. Oh well, it's still only December; there's plenty of Winter yet to come!

Busy Bee Suz said...

He is so adorable!!! Yes...get to Krogers. NOW.

HBFG said...

Wow, great shots! Your little Red is so cute and he seems to enjoy being the "star".
I wish my bird feeder would be visited by such colorful little fellas. We don't have much little birds here at all, which is a good thing. First of all we have a cat who likes birdies for dinner and second of all the winters here are not too harsh. They are able to find enough food and don't rely so much on our help.

John said...

Superb photos of Red, he is a little stunner. I have always wanted to be to see one, one day I will take a trip over and see the Red Cardinals.

Thank you Kelly.
John

Elaine said...

Lovely shots! I wish we had cardinals here. The redpolls are at my feeders at first light and then back again until it gets dark--of course they only have about 5 hours right now to fuel up so they have to work hard while they can.

Midmarsh John said...

What a beautiful bird the Cardinal is. Great photos also.

Jayne said...

He's beautiful, and apparently very happy to have found your wonderful feeders! :c)

Laure Ferlita said...

Such festive photos! Not to mention gorgeous.

Stay warm and get to Krogers!

Diane said...

Great close ups! Your windows must be very clean!!! And of course, your little story matches the pictures perfectly!

Jenny said...

Reds obviously got great weather sense and also knows just where to do for breakfast and supper! (-:

Montanagirl said...

Oh those are lovely shots of the Cardinal. I wish they'd swing this far north and pay us a visit.

Cindy said...

Great series of pictures and the cardinal is beautiful. We haven't seen cardinals around here for a little while. Maybe it's because the feeder is empty due to the squirrels.

Cindy

Mary said...

They do like being the first and last at the feeders. Sometimes I put extra out near dusk hoping they will get a fair share. Lovely birds for our dull winters!

Roy said...

These are beautiful birds Kelly.

Ginnymo said...

Nice close ups of 'Red" Kelly!! I have three pairs around here. It's funny how I see them more at dusk than during the day. Maybe it's for protection. They must know that the other birds have all gone home for the night. Happy New Year!!

Craig Glenn said...

Beautiful shots Kelly! I captured a few cards this week while visiting my parents in Ga. Can't wait to post them.

Craig

robins-chaos said...

Who doesn't love Cardinals, anyway??? That's a bird one can hardly get enough of, unlike the 40 Blue jays I've got plaguing me right now.......BTW, love the 'snow' drifting across your page....very cool! Valentines is coming up. Suppose you can get hearts to drift?

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

LOL! I hope you got your bread and milk Kelly.
What precious pictures of Red. They sure so brighten a day.
The cardinals do seem to be the last ones to leave the feeders as evening falls.
They were gorging themselves yesterday before the snow began and were all lined up on the limb where the feeders hang this morning.
Wishing you a New Year filled with all your hearts desires.

Heather said...

Yup, the cardinals are always the last to show up at our feeders, too. I see a few here and there during the day, but they really flock in at dusk. We barely got a lick of snow! Enough to have to clean off the car this morning, but that's all. I hope the storm set to arrive this weekend comes through for us!

holdingmoments said...

Great post Kelly.
What a striking bird he is, especially against the snow background.

The Early Birder said...

Still no snow here Kelly, so I'm just going to enjoy yours and 'Red' of course.
Glad to hear Santa brought you some interesting new toys. FAB

NatureFootstep said...

A christmas bird? Lovly color on the cardinal.

What you thought was berries is apples frosted and snowed upon. :)

carolmattinglyphotography said...

Love these Kelly. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks. Carol

JeniQ said...

Great pictures Kelly. I have a Tulip tree right outside my bedroom window. It has several nests in it, one of which is a Cardinal nest. I have yet been able to get pictures though. Maybe this spring.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone....We all agree that Red's red coloring is magnificent. I love everything about cardinals--their song, their color, their toughness, and the late hours they keep!

JRandSue said...

Spended Cardinal Shots,love the deep red colour.
Excellent Photography.
John.

E said...

Wonderful, a joy to see. Congrats, hugs and best wishes, dear Kelly.

RuthieJ said...

The best thing about winter is that I have bunches of cardinals coming to my backyard birdfeeders too. The other night right before dusk I counted 15! And probably a 2:1 ratio of males to females. They're such beautiful birds and your photos are fabulous!