Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday Critters ~ 253 ~

I have a family of young Cardinals in the yard and at my feeders.
I believe their nest is in one of the large cedar trees to the left of my office window.
I have enjoyed watching the process of "dad" feeding "mom".
 This is called "mate feeding" and is thought to be part of the bonding process between the pair.
It gives the female an idea of how well the male will provide food 
to their eventual young family.

Once the babies came, both mom and dad were busy bringing food back to the nest.
Then fledging occurred and I was able to watch the young ones being fed.
I think there are 2 males and 1 female but I'm not really sure.
I am sure there are at least 2 males as one is turning red quicker than the other.

I was thrilled to get these pictures without disturbing them, they had no idea I was there.
I want them to feed comfortably and not be frightened away,
then perhaps they will stay here!

I was surprised to read that their breeding season runs from March until late September.
Typically, the pair will remain together for one year.
In winter, that bond becomes relaxed, but most often the pair remain together until one dies.
Then the surviving mate will look for another partner.
The term "Mating for Life" is often used in field guides to describe this behavior.

As the temperatures get cold and the leaves fall off the trees,
I will spend more time at the window, enjoying my feathered friends!

And I wonder about my readers, are you bird watchers too?

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Playing With The Blue Jays

Lately, the backyard has been filled with Blue Jays.
I see them year round but they have become abundant these last few weeks.
They will eat sunflower seeds or peanuts in the shell,
but they prefer shelled peanuts spread out on the deck railing.
If I do not provide the latter, they squeal like crazy and let me know that they are not happy.
Here at my house, they are spoiled rotten...
but the nice thing about Blue Jays is they are not shy or skittish and they pose nicely for pictures.

They are known for being bullies but I don't often see that behavior.
I find if I provide enough food for everyone, 
everyone gets along well!

Aren't they beautiful?