This morning I had a group of Mourning Doves that at I estimate was at least 40 birds, these had taken over my deck, dishes and feeders included! They had almost finished all the seeds from the feeders, meanwhile smaller birds were trying to get close to the feeders and were being chased away by the doves.

I went out and spooked out the doves, they took flight at once. I refilled the feeders with seeds and waited but the doves just decided to leave, did not dare come back. All the other little birds were happy to get fresh seeds!

I’ve been listening to the honking calls of Canada geese lately, I saw some flying over my home earlier and then later I saw another group flying low over a frozen pond when I was on my way to do food shopping.

It makes me wonder, are they looking for forage or leaving the area?

Next, some fresh new photos from the Northern Cardinal family. Enjoy!

Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

Lovely Ladies

Today’s post is about the female Northern Cardinal, a beautiful bird, a good match to the male counterpart.

The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird. The male averages slightly larger than the female. The adult male is a brilliant crimson red color with a black face mask over the eyes, extending to the upper chest. The color becomes duller and darker on the back and wings.

The female is fawn, with mostly grayish-brown tones and a slight reddish tint on the wings, the crest, and the tail feathers. The face mask of the female is gray to black and is less defined than that of the male. Both sexes possess prominent raised crests and bright coral-colored beaks. The beak is cone-shaped and strong. Young birds, both male and female, show the coloring similar to the adult female until the fall, when they molt and grow adult feathers. They are brown above and red-brown below, with brick-colored crest, forehead, wings, and tail. The legs and feet are a dark pink-brown. The iris of the eye is brown. The plumage color of the males is produced from carotenoid pigments in the diet. Coloration is produced from both red pigments and yellow carotenoid pigments. Northern Cardinal males possess the ability to metabolize carotenoid pigments to create plumage pigmentation of a color different from the ingested pigment. When fed only yellow pigments, males become a pale red color, rather than a yellow.

Next, some photos of these lovely ladies. Enjoy!

Text excerpts © Wikipedia – Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz -Avian101


All photographs © H.J. Ruiz – Avian 101

Odds and Ends

If you are a photographer of birds, it’s not unusual to bump into oddities of different types. For example, day before yesterday I photographed a young male Northern Cardinal that most likely is semi leucistic (lacking plumage pigment). He seems to be in perfect physical health. I’ll keep an eye on him to see if any variations develop while he grows older. He’s part of the cardinal’s clan nesting all over my backyard. See the photos below and give me your opinion.

Text and photographs © H.J. Ruiz – Avian 101

For the Birds

For the Birds # 33

© H.J. Ruiz – Avian 101