Friday, September 18, 2009

Cardinal Phases

I don't mean to be mean but young cardinals did not fair well in the plumage department. It's one thing to be drab, as many juvenile and/or non-breeding versions of birds are. It's another to be mottled and splotchy.

Perhaps it is like the gawky teenager who becomes a model - it's just a phase they have to go through. And they seem to sense it, too. The ones in Grant Park were squawking up a storm earlier this month. It was almost as if they were all commiserating about how pitiful they looked in comparison to the adult birds.

But then they finish changing colors and they are the most brilliant, sleek red.

You better not post this picture.
I'm not in my good outfit yet.

Can't you wait until I've completely
changed colors to take my picture?

Don't look at me!
Almost there ...
Who? Me?
Mottled red and gray?
That was some OTHER bird.


  1. What a transformation! That is a great series of pictures.

  2. Excellent post. Love those mottled cardinals!

  3. Awesome pictures! I've noticed the same thing with our Cardinal fledglings. Now we are seeing several males that have completed the change.

  4. Excellent series of photos! Your captions give the perfect personality to the Card.