Friday, September 04, 2015

Our Birds Look Different

Summer is an entertaining time in our yards because it is when many of our resident species start bringing their young to our feeders and birdbath. But it is also the time when adult birds molt and look much less elegant than they usually look.

Our male Northern Cardinals are normally among the most beautiful and most elegant birds in our yards. However, during molt they certainly look much less dapper. 

The female Cardinals don't look much better.

Meanwhile this season's youngsters are emerging in public. Both male and female Cardinal offspring start off with black beaks. 

The young males soon begin to add red plumage, even if it is very blotchy at first.

As the amount red plumage grows and their crests develop, the birds' beaks begin to change color also.

Our Carolina Wrens don't look as elegant as usual in the summer either but they never seem to undergo such a dramatic molt as our Cardinals. Perhaps they molt more gradually.

Still, they do look very scruffy at times.

Our resident pair has raised several young this year. They lead them around our yards, showing them where to find food among the plants, in planters and in hanging baskets. As you can see below, they also make sure they know how to access our peanut feeders.

Our adult Blue Jays looked quite forlorn when they came to our feeders and birdbath without their normal, beautiful crests.

A Trip
After weeks and weeks without going on a real birding trip, we have one lined up for this weekend. We're going to spend the Labor Day weekend in Junction, Texas. Our main reason for choosing Junction is that we will get to see lots of birds at South Llano River State Park. So I should soon be able to post some good photos of some interesting birds!


Pam said...

I think the Cardinal looks terrible, I suppose because it's so striking normally!

Hope the weekend trip has been a good one!

Jeff said...

It was a good trip, Pam. Hot and not as birdy as usual but still worth the 6-hour drive each way!