Sunday, March 28, 2021

Northern Cardinal - Texas

I've previously posted on the Florida cardinal, one of 19 subspecies of the northern cardinal. We recently visited Texas which has two subspecies of the northern cardinal: (a) the Louisiana cardinal, found in south Texas north to central Oklahoma, east to southern Arkansas, and east and south to southwestern Mississippi and Louisiana; and (b) the gray-tailed cardinal, found in western Oklahoma, central and western Texas, south to central and eastern Mexico. I don't have enough information to determine which subspecies we saw. 
This partial distribution map of the northern cardinal is from Wikipedia (the range extends into South America). 
We saw quite a few cardinals on the trip. In Caprock Canyons State Park, near Quitaque, a spent some time at a bird feeder near a small lake and saw at least three cardinals. 
First I saw a female which is more subdued in its coloring, but still very beautiful. 

Next I saw a male with the bright red head, but a much more washed-out gray color on the back and tail (but as I look closer, particularly at one of the photos below, I'm wondering if it may be how the light is hitting the back).  

Finally, we saw a very bright male that took our breath away. Very beautiful. 

Near a bird feeder in San Angelo State Park outside San Angelo I saw another male cardinal. I got quite close to it and it flew to several trees very near me. 

We saw a male and female cardinal along the Concho River Walk in San Angelo. I need to work on my photos and insert them later. 

We also saw several male cardinals at Doeskin Ranch, part of Balcones Canyonlands NWR outside of Marble Falls. However, none of my photos are very good. 

1 comment:

  1. This has to be one of my most favorite birds. Its feathers are so startling and so beautiful against the brownish greenish environment. It is impossible to miss. Even the "plain" female is gorgeous.