Saturday, September 29, 2007

Colors of The Cardinal

Cardinals have had the run of my backyard lately. I've got several adults pairs and a bunch of juveniles feeding around the clock.

Cardinals are non-migratory birds and are very abundant in the south and eastern half of North America. In the south, they are noted to have two sets of young as the weather turns warmer earlier.

They are noted for their bright red color. The adult males have a very distinctive orange bill with a black mask. Females are not red except on their wings and tail.

I've noticed as the summer has turned to fall, the males color as faded ever so slightly. Notice the change in color from this picture that I got early on in the summer.

The juveniles are starting to acquire their color, in splotches. This is a juvenile male getting his 'red-ness'. The juveniles can be distinguished from the adults as they don't have the noticeable orange bill yet, being mostly black early on in age.


Larry said...

Yes-Cardinals can really look quite different during different stages of molting.-I actually saw an albino Cardinal once.

Matt said...

great shots... i need to come get some bird photos!

Dana said...

Thanks for the photos! Cardinals are one of my favorites but were noticeably more numerous in Indiana than they are here in Nebraska. We have a pair that frequents our yard, but we never see more than two at a time.


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