Friday, June 25, 2010
I don't see our local pair of cardinals too often, and if I see one alone it's usually the male, but the female spent a little time at our feeder yesterday. Here she is maneuvering a seed in her broad beak. Her orange crest is lying flat -- I'm not sure why; perhaps it's a sign of nervousness at the feeder, but cardinals and other crested birds seem to be able to raise and lower them to communicate different moods or intentions.
My blog friend Richard of in Atwater, MN, has some nice photos of fledgling cardinals with awkwardly transitional, blotchy-colored feathers and beaks that are changing from dark to the red-orange of the mature birds. We haven't seen any juvenile cardinals at our house yet, but I'm hoping we will. We certainly have plenty of young grackles, house finches and squirrels.