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This Morning Outside

by Diane Porter

September 4, 2010
At Birdwatching Dot Com
Fairfield, Iowa

Bright beaked and funny feathered, the kid cardinal is coming of age. A few weeks ago his beak was grey. A few wispy plumes on top of his head remain from his juvenile plumage. But if you look closely you can see flecks of red on his forehead. These are his new, bright red crest feathers starting to appear.

Young Male Cardinal
Photo copyright 2010 Michael and Diane Porter

In the closeup below of the young cardinal's head you can see the white feather sheaths of the pin feathers on his forehead. The tiny red tips are where the new feathers are coming out of the pins. In a while his head feathers will be bright red and as long as the brown crest he's outgrowing.

Cardinal feather detail

—Diane Porter

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