Recently, for some reason, a couple of yellow-billed cardinals have taken a liking to my car. I thought they were attracted to their reflections in the mirrors, though I later realized it was their reflections in the windows that they noticed more.
The downside of their activities was the all bird poop I had to clean off the side of the cart. So I decided I needed a deterrent. It seems to work. At least I haven’t seen them since!
This northern cardinal family set up home in the yard for a while. Above is the proud father. Next is the attentive mother. Finally there’s junior, looking, as offspring often do, like he might belong to a different species.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Awakening.’ See more offerings here.
Around here, awakening is usually courtesy of the dawn chorus. That occurs when the birds themselves awaken and announce to the world that they made it through the night. Pretty much every bird species that lives within earshot takes part, but there are some standouts.
Roosters (above) are the traditional greeter of the new day and that’s true here, though it has to be noted that they’re equally likely to sound off at any time of the day or night. This neighborhood used to be rooster-free for several years. Then one wandered in from across the road and now there are several in the vicinity. One in particular keeps trying to make my yard part of its territory. I am resolved to prevent this.
Gray francolins (right) are smaller than roosters but might be even louder. Their call has a little wind up before soaring to full screech. It gets people’s attention at any time of day, but at 5:30 in the morning it’s more effective than mainlining caffeine.
The northern cardinal (below) is a smaller bird still but, from its typically high perch, its variety of powerfully-sung songs tend to ride over everything. But rest assured, the other birds contribute, from the red-billed leiothrix, to Japanese white-eyes, to an assortment of finches, they make sure that I’m up to greet the sunrise, whether I want to or not.
I spotted this male northern cardinal wrestling with a kiawe seed pod, but had to leave before I could see how the duel ended. I suspect the cardinal won. He was certainly putting in enough effort to do so.