We have been feeding backyard birds for many years.
Cardinals and bluejays didn't appear at our feeders in Wyoming, those birds being unusual in the interior west, so it is with pleasure that we are seeing them again.
During most of the times that we have put out bird feeders we have also kept cats.
For the past dozen years our felines have been of the pampered indoor variety, for whom bird-watching was a contained past time--birds outside doing their things, cats inside observing with occasional twitching of tails or mewed blandishments.
Now we have three young outdoor cats.
Bird photography is a frustrating and time-comsuming venture. I station myself just inside the sliding glass door [which has been cleaned inside and out.] Using the zoom lens I was able to capture this shot of the cardinal framed in branches of the burning bush.
The birds seem to be aware of my every slight move even as they greedily peck at the hanging cylinders of seeds. Birds don't "hold still." They bob and jounce and flit.
For many efforts over the past few days I have only a few maginally clear photos.
Bluejays under the maple before the last snowfall.
The male and females are colored alike.
They are cheeky, noisy, greedy birds, but forgiven all that because they are lovely to behold.
Juncos picking up niger seed which the wind has shaken from the feeder hanging in the burning bush.
Joining the juncos have been goldfinches in their muted winter garb, a mockingbird or two and a pair of house finches with rosey-red caps and stomachers.
And then we have Willis the Kitten who perhaps should be renamed 'Nimrod.' Willis has proved a terror to mice and moles, he has designs on the birds.
His tabby stripes are an effective camoflauge as he hikes his way up the slender branches of the burning bush.
Graceful is not the word for Willis as he manuevers about the bush.
Here the rear view presents seconds prior to an ignominious tumble to the ground amidst a shower of twigs.
Up in the bush for another try.
Don't look down!
Yet another crash landing and for a bit Willis is subdued. His airy demeanor suggests that he didn't fall out of the tree--he meant to come down that way.
The girl kittens, Sadie and Sally pause occasionally on their rounds to do a little bird-watching, then they go on about their catly business.
Willis is clearly obcessed.
It may be inevitable that eventually an unwitting bird will be his first victim.
Meanwhile, J. has moved the feeder of niger seed to an outer more delicate branch.