A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Robin and the Cardinal

We noticed something that we think is unusual at our feeder the other day. Three male Cardinals and two females. All winter we have had two males and a female visiting our feeder daily, but this one day...just before a snowfall...there they were..two on the feeder, one on the railing of the deck, and two on the floor of the deck. It's a first for us, but read further...

I started to research this behavior and have found many interesting, unusual, tidbits of information about our friends the Cardinal and the Robin. I found that they have been known to share a nest with each other. This was way back in 1945...someone had a bird nest in their yard and it was occupied by a Cardinal and a Robin at the same time. One of the birds built a nest and it was destroyed...then the female found a nest already built. It was already in use, but that didn't discourage her...the two birds sat.. one facing in one direction and the 2nd bird faced the other. When the eggs hatched they both took care of the babies. The person who wrote the article said that when the babies fledged...he would see the adults taking care of each other's babies.
Cardinals and Robins are very territorial. We've had each bird flying at our patio doors. The keep it up for days. They can't distinguish between their reflection and another bird coming into their territory. Cardinals pair for life (usually) Females choose their mates based on the male’s ornamentation such as the size of his black face mask as well as the color of his plumage and bill. The ornaments of male and female Cardinals provide information on the bird’s condition. For instance, females with a big face mask shows that they are good defenders of nests but for males, this means that they are not highly successful in reproduction. Now let's see what the Robins do...When the female Robins choose their mates, they normally base their preference on the males’ songs, plumage and territory quality. Once she has selected a mate, the nest building follows with the female taking charge. Both birds do "mate feeding" It is so sweet to see a male cardinal taking care of his lady, by feeding her. I have read that Robins do this too. Some believe that they do this to let the female conserve energy for the coming events in their lives.
I think that birds are fascinating. Spring is coming and soon the birdsong will be so loud, early in the morning, when we have our bedroom window opened. The Cardinals and Robins will be strutting around my yard marking out their territory. The little house finches have been here already...looking at the front porch...just waiting for me to finish the wreath and hang it on the house. Soon I'll be discouraging them from building on my porch and they will be dashing back and forth with debris in there little beaks. Spring's coming...I must be patient.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Balisha, that is so interesting about the cardinal and robin sharing a nest.

We have about 18 cardinals here this winter. Since they don't use the hanging feeders, I always throw several scoops of sunflower on the ground for them. They lose that territorial instinct in the winter. I love the clear, distinct song of the male cardinal.

Julie Kallenbach said...

I am checking in again. I love your observations and can't wait for the time I can enjoy those momemts. Until them, I too will dream of spring and read your blog

Julie K

Balisha said...

18 cardinals! Wow! Mine use my hanging feeders. I love the song of the cardinal too...

Well, hi there Julie..Thanks for reading and taking time to leave a message.Hope things are well with you and yours.