How can it be the end of October? Have you all finished up your gardening and cleared the unwanted vines, leaving ones that would be shelter or food for those feathered friends. Do you birdwatchers have many Cardinals? I usually have one pair off and on. I do know that they like dense vines such as sweet autumn clematis, grapes, hedges, roses, offering low level bird bath with spraying water. Toss a handful of rock salt in a saucer and place it on the ground at your feeding station.
If you live on a rural blacktop in this area, you will many times notice birds near the edge of the roadway. Many times, the MoDOT has chip sealed the roads and they use sand in this process. Sand is an attractant to the birds for grit. They need this to digest their food.
Cardinals like to feed on a flat tray or ground feeder. Cardinals mate for life; during courtship and nesting, you may see the male feeding the female. Male cardinals are very territorial and may become nuisances when they start attacking their reflections in your car windows, or house windows. I have heard many of you talk of this habit, which is very common from Cardinals. Cardinals are year around residents of their range in the U.S. The cardinal’s distinctive song is said to sound like cheer, cheer, or a chip sound.
Several tips for feeding cardinals; cracked corn, shelled peanuts, apple pieces, ground or chopped suet, safflower seed, and of course the black oil sunflower seed.
If you want to have a bird bath for any bird, don’t feel it extremely full. Birds are not ducks and just need about 1.5 inches of clean drinking water. I offer ground bird baths in the winter time, and also one on the porch which are heated and offer water for a variety of birds, Cardinals as well.
They are welcome addition to your feeding station. I am not feeding anything right now. I will start feeding sometime in November. I am still missing my daily visitors to the hummingbird feeders, which are all washed and put away for next spring.
The Cardinal is an ever popular bird being the state bird for several states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia, making the red bird the most popular choice, with the western meadowlark second with six states, and mockingbird coming in third with five states. Until next time, good birdwatching.