Vain cardinal

Joan Duff of Duluth is beginning her third winter in the Northland after many years in central Florida.
She has enjoyed watching birds in both places, she writes, including this cardinal with a fixation on … itself:

“One cardinal — who was hatched and raised in the busy area near my open carport — fell in love with my red car … or rather his reflection in the driver’s mirror of my red car,” Joan writes. “It would sit and look at itself, slobber regurgitated food all over the door (required frequent cleaning before an errand drive) and would bring bits of grass to offer its ‘beloved’ — I often found a grass-shred collection scattered by the side of the car. It obviously resented me taking the car out anywhere and would be waiting patiently for its return.”
In this photo, the cardinal is glaring at Joan, daring her to take its “beloved” away.
Your bird stories and pictures gratefully received at: jlundy@duluthnews.com.

2 thoughts on “Vain cardinal

  1. Joan Duff’s enamoured cardinal brought back the memory of a pair of cardinals that visited for nearly a week. My husband and I were camped at Caprock Canyon State Park, Texas. We’d been there a day or two when, out of a juniper next to the camper flew the irate male. He immediately began attacking his foe (himself!) in the reflective windows of the camper. He would begin early in the morning and continue throughout the day. Meanwhile, the female would perch herself on the rubber gasket of the window and gaze into the camper. This scenario was terrific for picture taking, but rather hard on the nerves. The tap, tap, tapping drove us crazy. At one point the male discovered our car mirrors and started alternately smacking into the car, then the camper. My solution for the mirrors was to encase them in paper. It worked! The camper window solution was not as successful. I cut strips of aluminum foil and taped them above the window. I figured they would blow in the breeze and deter the bird. No such luck. He continued to fly straight into the glass like a kamikaze pilot. She remained perching on the gasket, occasionally preening for her “two” suitors. The wind tore the foil off. The birds kept coming. The only deterrent that worked was when a much larger, many windowed camper pulled in a few sites away. Suddenly the male had an entire platoon of challengers to attack. Quiet came to our camper once more.

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