The cardinals are year-round residents. During breeding season–which is now–the males are so bright!
We didn’t have any cardinals in our neighborhood when we moved here 20 years ago. They began visiting about 15 years ago, and a few years after that began to breed in the neighborhood.
We had grapevines back then, and the male cardinal would bring the fledglings to harvest fresh grapes in July. I imagine that the fellow pictured here is the grandson of those grape harvesters! I’m glad they decided to stay even after the grape vines expired.
The breeding couple tends to flock with the breeding towhees. By the way, on April 1, I saw the first towhee fledgling of the season, a bright noisy chick with stubby tail feathers and wing feathers barely long enough for it to fly. It was hopping through the prickly pears while its mother fed it.
I am already looking forward to when the cardinal brings his fledglings this summer! Hurry back to the nest, Mr. Cardinal!