A male Northern Cardinal, a young Eastern Blue Jay and a Northern Mockingbird all were spotted in my front yard yesterday afternoon. It was blazing hot and some of the birds are likely now starting to molt. At least that is the way they look to me.
Molting is when the birds change feathers from breeding to non-breeding colors. It is nature’s way of taking care of older feathers, which drop out and are replaced by fresh young ones. The birds do not feel very well during this time. It is especially hard now because of our hot rainy weather.
That Blue Jay is likely just a recently-fledged juvenile and is probably not in molt. The poor bird was really hot! I took these photographs on August 9, 2015 at about 4:30 PM Eastern Time. The temperature was about 91 degrees F. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!