Cardinal in the mirror

During a recent stay at my second backyard (Caprock Canyons State Park) I managed to capture a rather perturbed cardinal by Lake Theo. The cardinal was rather occupied with the mirror of a TPWD truck, jumping around on top and  pecking at it. This provided not just a photo opportunity, the bird remained in the location for a duration of time, but a look at animal behavior.

The male cardinal caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and was alerted to a rival male’s presence in his territory. What we are seeing is a bird in the throws of a territorial battle! Check out his fancy foot work!