Monday, January 09, 2012

Another Cardinal Abnormality

It's odd.  Today I saw my second abnormally plumaged female cardinal at my feeders.  This one is a partial albino.  I've never seen this particular individual before.

I did my best to get mug shots.  Here she is from the side....


And from the front....


And here, just for comparison, is the other abnormally plumaged female that I've seen this year at my feeders.  Unlike the partial albino I saw this morning, this brighter-than-normal female is a regular at my feeders.


I'm curious to see if either attracts a mate this spring.

5 comments:

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

These female cardinals are really interesting. First of all, I'm amazed you have enough to compare them. You must have just what they want at your place. I've never even heard of an albino cardinal. It's all very interesting.

Gaia Gardener: said...

Sherlock, right now I have about 7 pairs of cardinals coming in regularly. In past years during a snowstorm or extreme winter weather, I've had as many as 14 pairs. I only know of one other person who feeds in the area, and she lives a mile away. Perhaps that's why I get so many cardinals congregating at my feeders.

Melanie said...

I wish I could attract cardinals. We live in the country along a slow paced rural highway. I have seen cardinals in a tree row about 2 miles from the house near a creek there. I feed sunflower seeds from a platform feeder (with a hopper on top to keep seed dry). .and we have had a water feature in our front yard for about 4-5 years now. I've tried to search out habitat specifics to see if certain types of trees attract them. We are getting some maturing blue spruce and pine trees. .but no berry or nut. .and the two Burr Oak's I bought from Brady nursery croaked last summer. I'm so sad for myself. .but enjoy seeing them on your blog. .keep it up!!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Melanie, do you have any sort of tree line that connects your yard area to a larger treed area? especially, perhaps, to that creek? If so, I think there's a good chance the cardinals will find you. If not, it may take longer - until your trees and shrubs grow up enough to provide the type of habitat they need.

If that's the case, enjoy the birds you do get. Grassland birds are actually among the species most in decline, since so much of their habitat has been converted to plowed fields.

Rose said...

Very interesting--I have never seen an albino cardinal before. With the unusually warm weather we've had this winter, the winter birds have been slow to arrive here, but I always have a few pairs of cardinals that are regular visitors.

Thanks for visiting me--I should have added in my husband's defense that he doesn't mind adding to the vegetable garden space. That's his idea of real gardening:)