Circle of the Seasons

By GCleare

The Mighty Red Defender

I've been following the courtship between this male cardinal and his pretty young mate. Three boys were competing for her favors, but this fellow seems to have won.

Today Ryan and I were watching as the happy couple perched on the corner post of the espaliered pears trees, then she hopped down into the foliage and out of sight...obviously into her nest. He took off, just as I snapped this shot, to fetch her a lovely sunflower seed, which he shelled and delivered to her in the boudoir.

Then he hopped back up on the post to stand guard, glaring at me and my clicking camera. Luckily I have a long lens and don't have to get close to catch the action. Even so, he didn't like being watched and flew right at me on one of his trips back and forth from the feeder!

We have to figure out how to keep the cats away from them. When the chicks are born they will "peep peep" and it will be the siren's call to my two felines.

Any suggestions?

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