Cardinals in the Snow

A bright red Cardinal against a snowy backdrop is one of my favorite sights of winter. We had a few inches of snow (preceded by rain) last week, so Judy had an opportunity to take some pictures. The light wasn’t great, so they’re a little dark.

Cardinal, Deutzia
Cardinal perching in a Deutzia bush.

Cardinals have been very plentiful in the garden this winter. They love sunflower and safflower seeds. This winter I discovered that they also like peanuts in the shell. Several times I’ve seen them pick up a peanut by its stringy fibers, then fly off with the prize. Who knew? I also find that Cardinals prefer platform feeders. Most tube feeders have perches that are too small for these large finches.

Cardinals, platform feeder
Cardinals at platform feeder.

The snowfall ended 355 days without snow of one inch or more, so technically our snow drought is over. What’s more, we’ve been catching up on our moisture deficit – precipitation since December 1st has been almost 3″ above normal. However, this part of the state is still considered to be in a moderate drought.

Cardinal, Mourning Dove
Cardinal and Mourning Dove

There’s not much snow on the ground right now, it’s been mostly melted by rain or by warm temperatures.

In any case, I am grateful to the Cardinals for lifting my spirits and distracting us from cold, drought, and dreary things of all kinds.

41 Comments on “Cardinals in the Snow

  1. After observing your VT, I saw 16 Cadinals all together in a tree at the house on the corner of the alley & the side street that runs adjacent to the alley. Such a treat! You’re lucky to have so many! We’ve got a few that visit daily. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely bird sightings!

    • I’ve never seen 16 together at once. I think the most I’ve seen is five or six, but they are around all the time. I do enjoy having them around.

  2. The Cardinal is #1 on my list of birds I would love to spot. Sadly, I don’t think we get them out here. Love the last pic with the Mourning Dove..Both of them such beautiful birds. The Canadian Mourning Doves I’ve seen on some blogs have light blue around there eyes that is soooo pretty..

    • I guess Northern Cardinals are mostly and Eastern bird. Didn’t know there was a Canadian Mourning Dove. I like the pic with the two of them as well, looks like two old friends sitting together.

  3. Oh wow! The Cardinals are stunning!!!! Dude, I want your garden!!!! You’re so lucky to live in such an amazing place and have such exotic birds in your own garden. I do love the birds we get in the uk but I am still very envious of the ones I see in yours. Thank you for sharing them on your blog : )

    • I’ll give you my garden, you can give me your fruits and vegetables, Funny to think of Cardinals as exotic birds – here they are pretty commonplace. But I guess exotic depends on where you sit.

  4. I so want to spot cardinals – they are top of my list of must-see birds. Now you’ve taken it one step further because I want to see them in the snow. You are truly fortunate to see them. I agree with Anna B – our birds in the UK are lovely, but the occasional cardinal would be a welcome addition.

    • If you come to the eastern USA or Canada you shouldn’t have too much trouble spotting Cardinals. I’m not familiar with the birds of the UK. I wonder if anyone has ever tried introducing Cardinals over there.

  5. Love your pictures. My cardinals are usually too quick for me to photograph. You really are bird central this winter.

    • Thanks! The platform feeder definitely helped with our back yard bird watching. It will also help attract other birds, like Rose Breasted Grosbeaks.

    • Aren’t they? I was happy to see the snow coming down, which isn’t usually the case. Usually I just groan and think, “Now I have to shovel the driveway.”

    • Oh, if I only could control the weather, all the wonderful things I’d do. I saw quite a few Cardinals in South Carolina when we were there in December, by the way.

  6. I think cardinals in the snow is one of the most beautiful sights of winter. How wonderful to have captured these images. I wonder what the cardinal and the dove were thinking – they were surely eyeing each other!

  7. Your images are very pretty, Judy. I love having the Cardinals visit and often they come enmass. I doubt they are a flock or anything, but they come in multiple pairs. My husband counter 14 when I was away. I usually see about 8 at most. They love ground feeding, but a platform feeder is best. I feed on poplar logs as my platforms for them, but as expected, it is like a throne for the squirrels.

  8. Hi Jason, I really love those red cardinals you have over there, very pretty birds. I can imagine how miserable it must be for you, but don’t worry springs around the corner.

  9. Jason, these finches are very colorful on snowy background. We have the finches here but they aren’t so bright red, only have red breast. I love your photo although taken in winter light.

  10. Great shot of the mourning dove and the cardinal in the snow! I’m glad you got a little snow, and now I hope we all have plenty of rain during the spring and summer. Hang in there!

  11. How vivid is that! Wow! – and a nice pic of the contrasting muted colors of the mourning dove too. Our birds blend into the chaparral for the most part, but I enjoy them all the same – all have their own character. We enjoy the bit of red on the top of the woodpecker’s head, and the red shoulders of the blackbirds, though. And the blue flash of the jays.

  12. These pictures are wonderful! I always have a hard time getting Cardinals to pose, so to speak. Great that you have so many in your yard you can get three in a frame!

      • NC is great birding country. We have the mountains, then the Piedmont area which is hilly with warmer weather, then the coast is almost subtropical with its barrier islands! Several large wildlife refuges are stop overs for millions of waterfowl in the Spring and Fall.

  13. I enjoyed the photos. I only see one or two cardinals at a time, but there are frequently 3 to 8 doves in groups here or on the power lines that are now free from the neighbors’ tree.

  14. I, too, am a lover of cardinals (well, maybe except at 3:30 a.m. on a summer morning!). This week on my way to work, I heard one singing its territorial “My tree! My tree!” song from a topmost branch. It never occurred to me that the cardinal is a type of finch; but it seemed obvious once you pointed it out.

  15. Oh how I long to mess up the ecosystem and bring a few pairs of these to my back yard! Since that probably isn’t going to happen, I’ll just enjoy the beauty of yours!

  16. Hello!
    I’m glad that you visited my blog.
    Thank you very much.
    In Poland we do not meet this beautiful bird.
    I will be happy to visit your blog.
    I send greetings.

  17. A northern cardinal in a tree has to be the original Christmas tree ornament. They are such a cheerful though commonplace sight here too in NJ. My English in-laws nearly fell over themselves the first time they saw a cardinal here, we’re lucky to have them!

  18. How could I miss this one?! Thanks, great pictures – you’re so lucky to have these colourful chaps in your garden.

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