Cardinal Sins

Or at least the sins that a northern cardinal thinks you make…

Occasionally one forgets to fill the feeder, or runs out of seed, the latter being the case this time. And it’s also pretty well known that when that happens, black-capped chickadees will often scold you as you walk out of your house.

Now mind you, it’s not that you mean to treat them as pets; you think you’re just providing a bit of food for some “wild” animals. But experienced bird feeders know differently. Wild birds can give you the guilt trip just about as well as a “domestic” pet can.

Last week, and again today, I had an experience that I really found unusual. It’s now become clear that the pair of northern cardinals that visit our feeders have learned from the chickadees. If the food is low or just about gone, the male AND the female have started to belt out their metallic “chirp” call… looking right into the house and a couple of times right at me.

Lesson learned.  I’m bringing seed home tonight.

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