A cardinal swoops onto the railing of the deck before the sun rises. He's the early bird, the earliest bird to come for a breakfast of sunflower hearts. Soon, chickadees and goldfinches swarm the railing, which we keep well supplied with sunflower hearts. The chickadees eat from our hands; the goldfinches fly off in a flock as soon as we open the deck door. The cardinal does a fly-by, but will not land if we are anywhere to be seen. Instead, he perches in a nearby apple tree, perhaps hiding from us, though we can see him perfectly well.
Cardinals are shelf-feeders, not perching feeders, so occasionally I see him coming in for a landing, but, changing course at the last moment, he continues on down to the ground below our second story deck, where cast-off seeds are hiding in the grass.
After sunset, as the bird chorus quiets into the dusk, the cardinal makes a final visit to eat whatever remains on the railing. Quiet, alone, not bothered by or competing with anyone else.