Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis


Northern Cardinal, 4/18/09, Pond at Elephant Head, Chino Canyon, AZ


Northern Cardinal, female, 4/18/09, Pond at Elephant Head, Chino Canyon, AZ


Northern Cardinal, male, 4/18/09, Pond at Elephant Head, Chino Canyon, AZ


Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal, male, 3/1/11, Ramirez Ranch, Roma, TX


Northern Cardinal, male, 3/1/11, Ramirez Ranch, Roma, TX


Northern Cardinal, male, and Pyrrhuloxia, female, 3/1/11, Ramirez Ranch, Roma, TX
Above, Northern Cardinal male appears to be eyeing forbidden fruit, a female of a related but distinct species, the Pyrrhuloxia. To complete the apparent drama, below, in a photo taken only twenty seconds later, a female Cardinal, whom we naturally cast as an aggrieved spouse, has replaced the female Pyrrhuloxia and looks to have restored domestic order. (The uptilted heads of the females in both pictures and the male in the lower one are probably not actually the expression of the attitudes we are tempted to attribute to them, but a result of the fact that most birds cannot drink with their heads down, but must capture water in their mouths and then lift their heads to swallow with the aid of gravity.)
 


Northern Cardinals, male and female, 3/1/11, Ramirez Ranch, Roma, TX