Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) fruits are dyed bright red by lycopene pigment, the same colorant that gives tomatoes their glow. They are buried in the brown husk at the bird’s feet. Like other colored autumn fruits, the magnolia is advertising its wares to passing seed-dispersers.
Across the road, the male’s mate was pecking at a dead tree trunk. After a minute or two, she flew down to join him at the fruit bar.