Saturday, February 15, 2014

Red decides he's just as clingy as any Carolina Wren...

Around our house, Red and his buddies usually stay off the hanging suet feeder. Red doesn't like to cling to things like nuthatches, wrens, woodpeckers, and chickadees do. He likes to perch at a table...it's more refined he says, but when snowstorms break out, anything goes...

It was strange to see the bright red Cardinal hanging on to the suet feeder. Normally only woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and wrens cling to it.
I was photographing the Carolina Wren on the suet feeder when Red decided he wanted in on the action. 

He with the flame red head...and body!
It was fun to watch this male Northern Cardinal peck away at the suet. Normally Red stays on a platform feeder or on the ground...or on a perching feeder. In our backyard, I've never seen a cardinal clinging to a vertically hanging suet feeder for a prolonged time (I've seen them try every now and then, and get a bite or two, but only briefly). This fella adapted quickly and came back all afternoon, but none of the other cardinals joined him. 

I'm glad one of our Northern Cardinals decided to cling on the suet feeder and eat this high-calorie treat. The snowstorm coming in was moving fast, dumping lots of snow, and the temperatures were falling. The extra calories would help him pack on the fat he would need to get through the night.   

A beautiful red northern cardinal clings to a suet feeder. Normally cardinals are perching birds and will not exhibit this kind of behavior.
...way to expand your horizons, Red!

19 comments:

Roy Norris said...

Some great close ups Kelly.

dinascitywildlife.com said...

Great to see them eating in the snow. Nice catch.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful moments.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful moments.

Mary Ann Gieszelmann said...

Too bad for the other cardinals! I'll bet he kept warmer than they did--from the inside.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

My goodness,you captured some awesome photos of this colorful male. What on earth lens were you using to get so close??? You can see the ridges in the feathers. How awesome is that.

We too had some beautiful snow and the old saying goes here in Ga, if you do not like the weather, WAIT! it will change in a matter of hours. IT did.. the next day all 4" melted.

GOD keep you safe!

Montanagirl said...

Terrific shots of the Cardinal. Sure wish they'd move this way.

Sublime Birdy said...

Gorgeous photos, their little faces are so intense and full of personality, wonderful piece.

Lois Evensen said...

What a pretty fellow he is! Yes, they are usually ground feeders preferring not to argue with the rascals on the feeders at our place, too. You must have been serving some very good chow there!

Steve Borichevsky said...

Fun feeder shot. I cannot get a camera close to my Caroline Wren. My "Big Boy" Cardinal will sometimes cooperate.

Janice K said...

Our Cardinals have come to feeders close to the house too this year instead of waiting or something the fall on the ground. It's so nice to see that flash of red once in a while!

Banjo52 said...

You really filled the frame with them and got nice, sharp detail to boot. Great shots.

I never see wrens in SE Michigan. Are they really scarce here or am I just not seeing them, maybe not looking in the right places?

Laure Ferlita said...

Amazing shots, Kelly! I hope he and the other cardinals made it through the storm.

Elaine said...

Smart fellow!!

CJ_Apple said...

I am happy to have serendipitously come across you blog. I love it - both the photography and the artwork. My teenage son is learning to photograph birds and I am working on learning to draw them. We live in southern Virginia and have many kinds in our backyard. I plan to bookmark your blog and check back.

Kelly said...

...thank you, everyone! It was so fun to watch this cardinal not behaving like a cardinal. The next day, after it stopped snowing, he never returned to his clinging behavior. .....maybe because a Northern Mockingbird showed up and became a suet tyrant and chased any bird off that got near.

CJ...thank you for stopping by for the first time! Good luck drawing the birds. Once you start, you never stop! I did a lot of birding with my son, and he would photograph the birds too...he's away at college now!

L Lewis said...

I was amazed to see how the heavy snow changed bird habits in my area, also. The dark-eyed juncos in my area typically feed on the ground. I was stunned one day to see a junco hovering, hummingbird-style, at a suet cake as he plucked out a few choice bits. He repeated the display several times until, presumably, he exhausted himself.

Angela Sullivan said...

Wow! Your pictures are amazing. Love them all.

Kelly said...

...thanks, Angela!