About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Cardinals divide territories

Why do I have fewer birds at the feeder? I started with 6 pairs of cardinals & now I'm down to 2.

That is an excellent observation. You may also have noticed in the spring, Northern Cardinals become very aggressive towards other cardinals or even attack their reflections in the window, in order to claim the perfect nesting territory and ample foraging areas for a potential mate. Cardinals don’t nest in colonies like some other birds. So it is very normal to see fewer Northern Cardinals at one time at the feeders.

Northern cardinals breed from March until September. If all goes as planned they usually raise two broods a year, one beginning around March to April and the second in late May to July.

By late summer, nesting is over and Northern Cardinals relax their defense of their territory boundaries. The birds sing less and flocks of cardinals begin to form. The Cardinals don’t migrate but can expand their range while foraging for food.

Young cardinals don’t have a set territory and can move around together freely in search of food. Older cardinals can join these young flocks for a time but drop out once it leaves their normal range.

These ever changing fall and winter flocks can consist of about four to twenty birds depending on the area, time of year, weather, and available resources.

Related Articles:
- Northern Cardinal Fun Facts http://bit.ly/twE6NV 
- How the Northern Cardinal bird was named http://bit.ly/tSKZYs 
- Cardinal Bird Feeders Made in the USA: http://bit.ly/qXJPFM 
- How to Attract Cardinals: http://bit.ly/pjh7mO 
- What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/rAArXw 
- What are the different types of cardinal birds? http://goo.gl/CUI43

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