A Backyard Friend

Northern Cardinal

I wanted to share a friendship of mine that is completely one-sided, well almost one-sided.  The guy in the picture above is a resident of our backyard and his official name is “Northern Cardinal“.  He can be seen most days flitting here and there, up high and down low, always busy with his task at hand, which happens to be looking for food and that is where our friendship began.

About 3 years ago, I started noticing that each time I was out in our backyard, this guy would be following me around as I watered my plants. We have been pretty consistent over the years at feeding the birds and we do enjoy watching them and we get excited when we see a new or rare bird that stops over in our yard.

Because we live in the Sonoran Desert, located south of the Rocky Mountain Range and the Great Basin Desert and north of the tropics of Mexico; this is where we get lucky when it comes to birds and bird watching.  We are a corridor for migrating birds.  We also happen to have extreme diversity in our geography, from the barren desert floor all the way up to aspen forests that supports these birds and their needs.

Just like it was said in the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come”, well in the desert if you build an oasis, “They will come” guaranteed! So plant some native bushes and trees and put in a water feature in your backyard and voila, you have wildlife of all kinds, especially birds.


Ok, now that you have had a geography lesson, back to my friend.  Not only was he following me, but he was squawking at me also.  I was completely in denial at first, thinking “No, a bird isn’t following me and he definitely isn’t harassing me.”  But it turns out both were true and he was letting me know that the bird feeders were low and out of sunflower seeds.  So after filling up the feeders under his supervision of course, I was left to finish watering my plants in peace.


I was totally excited, this was an awesome experience and I had to show my husband that I wasn’t crazy and that a wild bird had decided that I didn’t need to let the feeders be empty for any length of time!!

In the years since, he is still a fixture out back, always alerting me when the feeders are low.  He has also been a great father, it turns out that once his fledglings are out of the nest, it is the male’s job of providing food for them, while the female will be sitting on a new clutch of eggs.

When I mentioned before that this is a friendship that is almost one-sided, mostly for his benefit, I have been able to enjoy his tenacity and personality, his singing and his beauty and watching him take care of his young, I think it’s a perfect way of being friends, don’t you agree!! 😉

If you have ever considered the idea of inviting wildlife into your backyard, give it a go and see who you might make friends with…

Until next time, have a blessed day.




All pictures and content belong to Deanna Klell, thanks.

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