Cardinals have been gloriously prevalent in our backyard this Spring!
Here is the female partner of our fabulous pair gathering nesting twigs for her work along the Maumee River bank. She takes on most of the nest-building duties. She is more careful to stay hidden, using her camouflaging feathers.
Although the beautifully red male does contribute a few items to the nest now and then and visit the female to check her progress and offer encouragement, his main objective is to guard the operations. And he makes no bones about his presence, standing tall and alert and visible. From his heights, he continuously watches over his female partner and whistles and signals to her whatever messages are necessary.
A week, or so, ago, I finally had a Skimmer so close above me that I could set my camera to Portrait to snap his photograph with my SX410 IS Canon. I was pretty happy with the detail I was able to capture at this setting.
Skimmers are so delightful to watch. They literally dive-bomb to the water and skim the surface to catch small fish on the fly, snatching them up and away and swallowing them before their legs are barely out of the water.
This stubby little fellow seems to be seeking companionship. He usually travels in a flock!
I didn’t know exactly what type of bird he is and couldn’t find him in my bird book until a friend suggested he was an American Coot. And that he is! American Coots are more of a Southern bunch, so seeing this single fellow standing alone near the bridge in the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio, was quite the rarity.
Though stubby, this specimen can dive under water as far as 10 to 25 feet to find food, mostly seeds, roots, and leaves, as well as small fish.