Female Northern Cardinals

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A female northern cardinal – Cromwell Valley Park near Towson, MD on January 30, 2015

I had always considered the female northern cardinal to be dull and rather bland looking when compared to the bright red males, until I started photographing them.

I had never noticed how their tail and wing feathers are tinged with shades of blue and gray. They are just as beautiful as the males, and if you catch them in bright sunlight their highlighted feathers really stand out.

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A female northern cardinal – Cromwell Valley Park near Towson, MD on January 30, 2015

I have been setting up my camera at Cromwell Valley Park, Maryland to capture images of birds transiting to and from the feeders in the park.

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A female northern cardinal – Cromwell Valley Park near Towson, MD on January 30, 2015

The cardinals never disappoint and seem to enjoy being photographed. They are not as skittish as some of the other species at this location.

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A female northern cardinal and a red-bellied woodpecker (background) – Cromwell Valley Park near Towson, MD on January 30, 2015
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Female cardinals maneuver through a tangle of vines and thorns – January 30, 2015 at Cromwell Valley Park, MD

Click for information on Cromwell Valley Park

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Female Northern Cardinals

    1. Thanks Vicktor,

      I did make an entry in my notebook about a difference in behavior between the males and females at the feeder.

      The males tend to sit on the feeder and consume their fill of seeds, while the females will grab a few seeds and take it to an adjacent branch to consume.

      Since I don’t want the feeder in my shots, I set up my tripod and pre-focus my lens to the left or right of the feeder.

      When I see a bird approach the area that I have set up on, I start rapidly firing off shots until they have transited the frame.

      I get a lot of misses, but it also results in a few good hits. The female’s habit of darting back and forth probably increases my chances of getting a few good shots.

      However, in species comparison of shyness between northern cardinals and other birds at Cromwell Valley Park, I consider them to be rather bold.

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    1. Well, they have nothing to be self-conscious about, because they are truly beautiful little creatures.

      However, I suspect that their species has lived around humans long enough, that they have developed a line of genetic code that tells their tiny cardinal brains that a dolt with a camera 25 feet from their thorn bush isn’t a major threat.

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