Northern Cardinal, juv. male molting into adult plumage
Wow, this is one strange looking Cardinal we thought when we looked in the shrub behind our feeder. We know this is a late stage juvenile Cardinal molting into his adult plumage. Notice the all black bill, mottled appearance and the grayish plumage on his back. Fledgling cardinals are mostly brownish with a black bill and little or no black around the bill.
Watching young birds slowly acquire their adult colors is one of the cool things about feeding and attracting birds in your backyard.