The Northern Cardinal is among the most fascinating birds at our backyard feeders. Indeed, it is the state bird of 7 states. And at this time of year I especially enjoy keeping an eye out for them in the Hawthorne tree in my little wildlife habitat. A courtship behavior common to several species is especially endearing when exhibited by these colorful songbirds. The male Northern Cardinal offers the gift of a seed to the female. The sweetest thing I’ve observed is when the female waits in the tree while her suitor flys down to the bird feeder, selects a seed to shell and flys back to offer it to his lady. The female flattens her body, gently flutters her wings and lifts her head and beak toward her beau to accept his gift and takes the seed from him.
I’ve been keeping watch and have been rewarded by the cardinals this spring. I’ve witnessed housefinches exhibiting the same behavior and even caught a chickadee pair at it once. But no other makes such an endearing display of affection as this beautiful bird species.
If you haven’t seen your cardinals courting…keep a watchful eye out and you will.