Tag Archives: Cardinals

Red-crested cardinal

My bird book says that the red-crested cardinal is present on all Hawaii’s islands except the Big Island. That’s no longer the case, as these photos attest.

Adults are similar in appearance, but juveniles, such as the bird in the lower photo, have a brown head and a darker bill. A native of South America, it was introduced to Hawaii in the 1930s.

All kinds of backyard birds

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Backyard Birding.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.

Almost all the birds I see in the backyard are fairly common, but no less interesting for that.

Dawn chorus

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Awakening.’ See more offerings here.

Around here, awakening is usually courtesy of the dawn chorus. That occurs when the birds themselves awaken and announce to the world that they made it through the night. Pretty much every bird species that lives within earshot takes part, but there are some standouts.

Roosters (above) are the traditional greeter of the new day and that’s true here, though it has to be noted that they’re equally likely to sound off at any time of the day or night. This neighborhood used to be rooster-free for several years. Then one wandered in from across the road and now there are several in the vicinity. One in particular keeps trying to make my yard part of its territory. I am resolved to prevent this.

Gray francolins (right) are smaller than roosters but might be even louder. Their call has a little wind up before soaring to full screech. It gets people’s attention at any time of day, but at 5:30 in the morning it’s more effective than mainlining caffeine.

The northern cardinal (below) is a smaller bird still but, from its typically high perch, its variety of powerfully-sung songs tend to ride over everything. But rest assured, the other birds contribute, from the red-billed leiothrix, to Japanese white-eyes, to an assortment of finches, they make sure that I’m up to greet the sunrise, whether I want to or not.

Yellow-billed cardinal on a rock

Yellow-billed Cardinal

Yellow-billed Cardinal on a rockThis week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Something Red.’ (See more offerings here.) I had a few bird photos that fell into that category, but I chose these yellow-billed cardinal photos for their name.

When I’m out on walks, I’ve run into people who ask me about the name of the little bird with the red head. No one has ever asked me about the name of the little bird with the yellow bill, but that’s the feature that gives them their name. I guess it’s because other cardinals have red heads so calling this one a red-headed cardinal would lead to confusion.

I thought this one, seen on the beach at Pololu, looked particularly dapper.