I saw a flash of red out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and saw a Northern Cardinal perched on the side mirror of a car parked at Gemini Springs.
Northern Cardinals are abundant at the park; something else caught my eye and I looked the other way. Soon I was distracted by another flash of red — the cardinal again. I raised my camera and caught the male cardinal in the act: he was attacking his reflection in the car window.
I had read about this behavior (cardinals are notorious for these crazy antics) but had never seen it myself.
Our back yard is chock-full of Northern Cardinals these days. Since the beginning of June, adult birds have been followed by hungry babies all over our property. There are several families all living within flying distance, eating alongside each other at our feeders and foraging around our yard. Despite this harmony, in fact Northern Cardinals are highly territorial, especially when it comes to nesting sites. Northern Cardinals attack mirrors, windows and other reflective surfaces to defend their nesting territory from other (perceived) Northern Cardinals.
I photographed one attack and then walked over to the car to break it up. Hopefully when he took off at my approach, he took off for good.