Did you recognize last week’s bird as an immature cardinal?
When it first started showing up at our feeder I had never seen one in this state before and snapped a few pictures. Immature cardinals may resemble females, but notice this one’s beak–it is a dull brown rather than the colorful beak the bird will have as an adult. When males are about a year old, they will molt and become sexually mature adults with the recognizable red plumage.
Interestingly, there is another bird that slightly resembles this immature cardinal. Called a Pyrrhuloxias, it lives in the southwestern United States and into Mexico. You can check out a photo and some info HERE–notice the similarity in coloration, but the beak is not brown, as is this immature male’s beak.
Okay, now you know! And here is the next puzzler.