Swinging Cardinal

Each morning this male Cardinal takes time to swing in the empty squirrel feeder hanging in the pine tree outside my picture window. His mate usually perches in the boughs above him at intervals, flying away and returning several times before they finally fly off together. I have never seen her land on the swing, but she seemingly waits while he remains for quite some time enjoying the view from the 'porch swing' as it moves in the breeze.  

My swinging Cardinal, as I call him, always sits in the same position in the center of the back of the swing feeder which has a spike in the center of the seat to hold a cob of dried corn for squirrels to munch on. Though the squirrels look cute sitting on the seat as they extract the corn kernels, they don't seem to enjoy the swinging motion, often making angry noises and jumping off to a nearby branch or even down to the ground when the wind picks up. But this Cardinal seems to enjoy the increasing motion caused by a heavier wind and usually breaks into cheerful song as he clings to the back of the bench seat, fluttering his wings to keep his balance. He often stays somewhat longer on blustery days and tends to leave during a long lull between windy spells. Since the winter has been mild this year and the bird has been making daily visits for months now, I have delayed replacing the corncob for the squirrels and have been putting food out for them in just the feeding tray at the bottom of the tree instead. I'd hate to interfere in his apparent enjoyment of the swing.


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