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Posts Tagged ‘male Northern Cardinal’

I never get tired of taking photos of ordinary birds, like this male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) that I spotted yesterday Initially the cardinal turned his head slight and peeked at me over his shoulder.  Eventually he ended up giving me a better view, though it did seem like he was either shy or coy.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As this male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) stared at me Monday from within a bush, I couldn’t help but wonder if he thought he was camouflaged. It is hard to hide that bright red color.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The berries looked dried up and unappetizing to me, but to the male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) that I spotted last Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, they provided much needed nourishment on a frigid winter day.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It is always a joy to see the bright red color of a male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), especially during the winter, when the world seems almost monochromatic. I spotted this one yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge as he pecked about in the drifted snow. We have had only a small amount of snow, but the weather has remained steadfastly below freezing, so it has stayed with us for an extended period of time.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The days have now gotten shorter—with today marking the Winter Solstice—and bright colors have largely disappeared from the natural landscape. It is therefore a special joy to see the bright red color of a male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) at this time of the year. Unlike many birds that molt into a dull plumage during the winter, male cardinals continue to shine brightly and offer welcome relief from the dullness of the landscape.

I spotted this handsome cardinal this past Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge as he turned to the early morning sun and basked briefly in its warmth and light.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I love Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). The bright red of the male cardinal helps to lift my spirits throughout the winter when the world seems almost monochromatic. In terms of beauty, though, the more subdued coloration of the female cardinal is arguably even more impressive.

This past weekend I encountered several cardinals as I was exploring the frosty fields of Huntley Meadows Park in the early morning hours. I was focused on some sparrows in a patch of vegetation when suddenly a female cardinal flew in. I quickly adjusted my focus—I was focusing manually at that moment—and tried to steady my breathing as I took the first shot below just before she flew away.

A little while later, I caught sight of some movement out of the corner of my eyes in a stand of cattails. The red of a male cardinal is pretty hard to camouflage, so it was easy to spot him, but I was a little surprised by his pose. Somehow it looked more like the pose of a blackbird than that of a cardinal. Even though I was pretty far away, the cardinal seemed to be intently staring at me and didn’t seem too happy about my presence.

Cardinals are common where I live, but I never grow tired of photographing such ordinary subjects, seeking to discover and share the extraordinary that can often be found in the ordinary.

Northern Cardinal

northern cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Like a runner at the starting blocks, this male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was tensed as he prepared to push off from the top of a dead tree yesterday morning at Huntley Meadows Park.

What a beautiful way to start the spring.

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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