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 comfortable 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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  1. Thanks for all your dedication to the birds. We may make a birder out of you yet!

  2. Hello, love your beautiful cardinal couple. It is nice that they mate for life. Yes, I love bird watching. Great photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

  3. Beautiful bird. Wonderful photos.

  4. Such wonderful pictures and what a pleasure to have a family of them in your yard.

  5. Oh you know I am a bird watcher, and I just love how you have captured them, how neat to be able to watch them with the nest. All my birds hang out in our pine trees and all I can see is them going inside, not really sure what all they do in there, LOL!
    Hope you are enjoying a great weekend!

  6. You have very pretty friends!
    I am a birdwatcher too... but in Finland in winter there are so few possibilities...
    Enjoy your friends!

  7. Yes,I am a bird watcher and feeder. I think that was one of the things that first drew me to your blog.

  8. Cardinals are very, very beautiful birds.
    Amazing photos!!!
    Have a great weekend
    Kind regards
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  9. I sure am. Watcher, feeder, enjoyer.
    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  10. They're beauties.
    Wonderful birds and wonderful photographs.

    All the best Jan

  11. There's nothing sweeter than baby birds! And it's fun to watch the colors change on the Cardinals. We filled our feeders up when we got back and it was a couple of days before we had visitors. Now we are having birds we haven't seen in Warblers. We love watching the feeders year round!

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  13. Your little colony provides lots of entertainment! Great photos!

  14. Thank you Debbie, I thoroughly loved reading about your Cardinal family. Your research is always tinged with your personal experience and I find that so appealing rather than just reading it from a guide.
    To see those photos you took is something really remarkable... the blended colours in the adults' feathers is so beautiful. Nature truly is amazing.
    The juveniles are adorable and, to refer again to them, your photos are extremely special. Cheers, Sue :D)

  15. Gorgeous close ups Debbie. Have a great week ahead

  16. Beautiful photos. I love how the light is enhancing the feathers of the Cardinal in the first two.

  17. Beautiful pics...I love watching the birds feed and really enjoy the pretty cardinals. I watched a mom fed a babe and he was bigger than her and had lost his baby feathers. I wondered how long they feed them.

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  19. I saw on FB that you had a great time this past weekend; that always makes me happy!


    p.s. I see that (co coya) has been here too, Debbie. I didn't click on it on my page. ugh

  20. Beautiful birds! You are lucky to see them in your garden))

  21. How wonderful to have a nest where you can watch the progress; I love this!!!

  22. They sure are enjoying the day! Great captures Debbie!

  23. Great photos! Your trees make for awesome backgrounds! I've seen the adults feeding the kiddos, but not the male feeding the female.