Attracting Northern Cardinals

Male Northern Cardinal in the Snow
Male Northern Cardinal in the Snow

It’s hard not to like Northern Cardinals. One of our most popular feeder birds, the male’s beautiful red color pops in the yard, especially in the dull grey winter months of the year and the female’s more subtle orange and red tones are lovely as well. They come to our feeders fairly readily and are polite guests. They might bicker with each other a little bit, especially in the spring when territory becomes an issue, but they don’t give other species a hard time. If you live within their range, attracting them to feeders usually isn’t hard to do.

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Attracting Blue Jays

Inquisitive Blue Jay

Blue Jays are fun birds. Members of the Corvidae family, they are smart and bold. Yes, they can seem a little obnoxious to human eyes, but if you watch them, they don’t so much bully other birds at the feeders as behave in a loud self-important “me first” way. They fly in, take what they want, announcing it with loud calls, and then move on to other business. And sometimes other backyard birds call their bluff and they are the ones who have to back off! Would you like Blue Jays in your yard? Offer them the foods they like!

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Thwarting Spring Grackle Invasions

Common Grackle
Common Grackle

Last spring at about this same time, I had a flock of Common Grackles descend on my bird feeders. While I think they are smart birds with subtly beautiful feathers, I really don’t like their behavior at the feeders. They typically seem to arrive in a group and aggressively go at the feeders, excluding the regulars. They are very persistent about going after what they want and will continue to hang around as long as they can get it. So this spring, I again had to make adjustments to get them to calm down.

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