About three weeks ago, I spotted a Northern Cardinal in a mesquite tree in the back yard. I managed one quick shot through the branches. I was hoping they would come to one of the feeders, but I haven't seen one in the patio yet. Since they're not migratory, maybe they will stick around and be tempted later in the year.
The name comes from the Latin word cardinalis, which means "important." The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder. Interestingly, male cardinals in Arizona have larger, more prominent crests than other male cardinals nationwide.
Last week, I managed to photograph another one. He wouldn't come out in the open. But even glimpses of him are beautiful.
I've heard Northern Cardinals every evening for the past couple of weeks. They have a beautiful song. The territorial call which I've been hearing sounds like "whata-cheer-cheer-cheer." One comes flying through our backyard at dusk, landing on the chainlink fence just long enough to tease me, I think. It's always too dark for a photo and I don't want to use flash.