Nearly every day recently I’ve watched Cardinal pairs engaging in courtship behavior that always makes me smile, because of how it seems so similar to human displays of affection. Of course I don’t know what is happening in Cardinal minds, but it is charming to see the male Cardinal repeatedly select a small seed, fly to his mate and, reaching out, gently present it to her. She carefully takes it from him and eats it. Sometimes they then sit together for a moment before he flies off to find another seed.
(This painting, “With This Seed…” is currently featured in my Etsy Shop.)
A chunky, yellow-tinged bird flies in and lands on top of one of the deck posts (we made the deck with eight foot tall posts to hold bird feeders), calling with a loud wik-wik-wik rattle-like sound. He then flies to the suet and stays there, feeding enthusiastically, for a long time, unlike the other large woodpeckers, who feed briefly then fly off to a nearby tree.
This time of year we see Northern Flickers at our feeders pretty much every day. Usually just a male or two show up, but occasionally we see a female. I nearly always stop what I’m doing to watch them– I love these large woodpeckers who have such a commanding presence.