About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Strange looking cardinal

My mom has strange looking cardinals in her backyard. They seem to have crossbred with another variety. Some have dark beaks some have mottled red-brown feathers. Have observed a red male northern Cardinal feeding a young with a dark beak. Any ideas?

Photo from WunderPhotos
These are late season juvenile cardinals. Babies always have dark beaks and look like they've been rolled in ashes. As the baby boys mature, more colorful red feathers will appear until they look like normal adults.

Right now they are looking for a lot of weed seeds, fruits, nuts and berries in the wild. At the feeders you can provide highly nutritious and protein packed foods like sunflower and safflower seeds as well as peanuts.

Related Articles:
Northern Cardinal Fun Facts http://bit.ly/twE6NV
How the Northern Cardinal bird was named http://bit.ly/tSKZYs
Cardinal Bird Feeders Made in the USA: http://bit.ly/qXJPFM
How to Attract Cardinals: http://bit.ly/pjh7mO
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/rAArXw
What are the different types of cardinal birds? http://goo.gl/CUI43