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Posts tagged ‘birds in molt’

Yard Birds

Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

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!

Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Older Juvenile Eastern Blue Jay

Older Juvenile Eastern Blue Jay

Little Birds, Big Bird

This Northern Cardinal male is molting.  Molt is the time when the birds shed their older feathers and get new ones which will help them adapt to the upcoming climate of fall and winter.  Please don’t laugh at the poor fellow.  He really is not his elegant best.  You can readily see that the black face mask is really his black skin minus the short black feathers that may also be there at times on his face.  I think that the small brown bird with the Cardinal on the feeder may be a female House Finch.

I took these pictures of the Cardinal and resident Great Blue Heron last evening at about 6:45pm in my yard.  I took several shots of the Heron but it never once moved.  It likely was trying to decide what to do about my presence and also had prey in its vision.  Who knows?  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

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