I decided to start doing posts on things people type in the search box in their browsers. The last post, Do Birds Shiver When It Is Cold?, was also a search I get often, but none beats Pictures of Cardinals in Winter. Not hard to imagine why since cardinals are some of the prettiest birds in the snowy northeast. So let’s have a look at some in Niagara Falls State Parks.
Monday’s post showed birds in my backyard photographed both from inside the house and then going outdoors. You can see a difference in birds that regularly visit home feeders. What might a difference be then?
Cardinals are shy birds and often are not birds to come in close to people, especially in a forested area. I did have one male come right up to my feet and stop to look right up to me. I had a baggie of food at my feet and it was as if he was saying, “Open that bag up and let me in.” He was a little close for my lens, but I still snapped his photo anyway.
He even brought me a seed to make sure I knew exactly what he wanted.
I opened the bag with him inches away, and let the seed trickle out. For about fifteen minutes, while I was taking photos of other birds, him and his mate dined at my feet.
I was hoping not to back up and step on one. The photo below was the female looking at the seed I just laid in front of her mate.
I do hand feed the wild birds here, but I have never hand fed a cardinal. I should have tried since this pair was so close.
Cardinals usually sit back and wait until all danger is neutralized or absent. I guess I am not viewed as a danger when having seed in a baggie for them. It is understandable they are wary though because they are a bright red target for hawks and other predators.
I must admit, when it is 0° outside and covered in snow, birds take more risks than normal to take food from people. All the cardinals in this post came to me for food. I have been feeding birds in these woods for years and they have come to know me. They even recognize my Jeep.
When they see me park the Jeep, they will follow me through the woods to where I feed them. You can see by their expressions, they anxiously await the seed.
Before the males come to check out a food source, the females will arrive first. Females are also wary, but seem to be the braver of the pair. Sometimes, like above, a male will venture in first.
I have hundreds of photos of cardinals in the snow , many of which have been seen here on GWGT. I like to flood the market with cardinals! Many are taken in the woods of Niagara Falls State Park. I like to believe they enjoy my photography sessions.
In the woods, the cardinals are better protected against hawks by the tree and shrub cover afforded by this habitat. They do glow in the darkened woods and are still very easy to spot.
The sun does peek in through the trees, so some photos are brighter than others.
What I find is if I catch the birds off guard, I get some interesting expressions. It is getting harder and harder to get them in interesting poses when they know me so well. I may have to find a new spot to photograph the wild birds.
Some cardinals look pensive and others look like they are having a bad day. At least these two gave me an interesting look in the photos!
I have a post coming up on birds giving me the look above. I often wonder what goes through their minds.
Starting in February, I have my Conservation Landscaping posts coming up. It shows how the birds live naturally and how you can take tips from nature to have them visit your garden. Conservation Landscaping is not about birds, but it does encourage all kinds of animals to your property.