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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Strange Teenage Cardinal

Northern Cardinal, juv. male molting into adult plumage

Soon he will look like his Daddy, here.

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.


Ruth Hiebert said...

Strange,yes,but still pretty.

warriormom said...

It's been great watching the juv. cardinals changing this fall. Wanted to let you know my husband gave me a copy of your new field guide for my birthday!!

Lynn Benoit said...

Thanks for this post! I've seen juvenile Cardinals in my own yard and I know!