LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Red Bird in a Red Tree

The bird I posted yesterday is a Black-throated Blue Warbler! Thanks to Laura and Kathi, part of the Cape May flock! (I just might have to consider going next year.) I also sent the picture to a local bird expert. He says that except for a short while during migration, it is a pretty rare sighting around here. He's never heard of one seen in a hanging basket near a house. These warblers are more common in the higher elevations of Western NC and are year-round residents above 4,000 feet.

I must admit I felt a bit foolish when I looked at yesterday's post. I said something to the effect that if I relied on my bird guides, I would call it a Black-throated Blue Warbler. IF I RELIED ON MY BIRD GUIDES? Isn't what they are for?

On to the red bird in a red tree. We do not try to attract Cardinals, much to my husband's dismay. I have heard too many scary stories about crazy Cardinals challenging a reflection non-stop for days and days. But I do love them, and was delighted to find one in a nearby tree. The Cardinal and the leaves on the tree were both red and I wasn't at all sure I would be able to focus well enough to get a shot. But I gave it a try and here is the result:




Later that same afternoon, I saw another Cardinal, this one posing on a bare limb. He wanted to come to the bird feeder, but a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak would have none of that. She was willing to share with goldfinches, titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches, but she would not allow the Cardinal anywhere near the feeder.




I'm just as glad the Cardinal was kept away. While I love these birds and enjoy watching them, I do have nightmares about bloody prints all over the place with one of those crazed birds attacking his reflection.

14 comments:

Shellmo said...

I love your cardinal! I used to have one that would look at himself in my car mirror and would occassionally peck the mirror - nothing too horrible.

Dog_geek said...

We have plenty of cardinals and lots of big windows, but no bad reflection attacks. My parents had a cardinal that kept coming to one of their windows to go after his reflection, but he didn't hurt himself. They hung a faux owl in the window, and it took care of the problem - the cardinal never came back to it again.

Cicero Sings said...

I fine job on the cardinals. We don't get cardinals in the west! I don't think I have ever seen one in the flesh.

Cheryl said...

Wonderful colourful photographs.....we do not have the cardinal here so it is lovely to see him in detail.......interesting info to, love reading it......

Nick S said...

You are lucky to even get Cardinals :-) Lovely colours .
We had a female show up last Christmas, and they are very rare vagrants here.

The Birdlady said...

Aw, go aheadd and invite them....the window attacks aren't all that common, and you can put something on the window they choose if they do decide to peck. They are so beautiful, don't miss out.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Carolyn, I agree with Helen... We LOVE our Cardinals---and we have tons of windows. They've never tried to peck at them.. AND--other than our Bluebirds, the Cardinals are some of the prettiest. Ours usually come in groups of about 4 at a time. They'll stay at the feeders for long periods of time. They are always the last birds at the feeder at night---just before dark. AND--they are the first there in the morning. I love to hear them 'chip.'

Jayne said...

I usually have one pair that will come occasionally, but not an abundance of them. I've never had one to the reflection challenge (knocking on wood). :c)

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: I love Cardinals and think they are a beautiful bird. I've never heard of the problem you were talking about.

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Nice cardinal pictures! We've never had a problem with them, but my father-in-law (in Hickory, NC) did have one of the reflection attacking encounters you're talking about. The cardinal would go at himself daily in all the windows around their house, also in their truck side mirrors. It lasted for a couple months, but there was never any blood. More amusing than scary was their take on it.

troutbirder said...

Now that is one neat set of cardinal pictures. In all the years, I only seen the window pecking thing once.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, all. In deference to you and to my husband, we have put out a feeder that will be more attractive to Cardinals. And it's working...we've seen two different males and a female since we put it out. Hopefully they will bring some color to the winter. And hopefully we won't attract any of the psychos!

LIFE as it is........ said...

You have got a wonderful blog here buddy. Really enjoy watching the still bird here:)

Kerri said...

Great captures!!