The Northern Cardinal is not just associated with Christmas because of its beautiful red plumage and crest. Northern Cardinals don’t migrate . . . and live year round in a good portion of the United States (excluding the Rocky Mountains, some of the Northern Plains states and West Coast). So the striking photos of Cardinals in the snow are not “photoshopped”.
And they love water and enjoy water sprinklers and birdbaths-- and just clown around.
These birds are ideally suited for back yards and enjoy feeders. If you look closely at both feeders in the photo below, the male and female pair are dining together in separate feeders. Look for her red bill in the right feeder to locate her. You'll have no problem spotting him . . . and males will often sit on fences and in other prominent places so their mate can feed on the ground.
Males bring on their red in sploches as shown in the photo below--it's not just a bad hair day.
Photos copyrighted by Margaret Sloan. View her full photo album, Birds of Quail Valley by pressing this link.
To learn more about the Northern Cardinal, hear an audio recording of its cheep (which may be the first bird sound of the morning), and see a wonderful video of the Northern Cardinal, visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
We've now posted a full year of both year round and migrating birds . . . our monthly post has barely scraped the surface of the ball park 120 birds that live or visit Fort Bend County. Happy holidays and enjoy the new year by enjoying nature and the outdoors.
Edited and posted by Janice Scanlan