Northern cardinals are an iconic-looking songbird of North America, having been named the official bird of seven Eastern states from Illinois to Virginia, but you may only recognize the red male of the species. The female is primarily colored light brown or gray with just slight touches of red.
Cardinal look-alike birds are pyrrhuloxias, phainopeplas, vermilion flycatchers, scarlet tanagers, summer tanagers, and more. Surprisingly, a pyrrhuloxia could be confused with a female northern cardinal, since they’re quite similar.
Description: The male is vibrant red, and the female is grey above and pale buff below with a red crest. Vermilion cardinals have grey bills.
Baby cardinals are gray and naked and lack their parents’ pointy crest.
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Drab gray above and paler below. Plain gray bird with a prominent black eye and a feisty tuft of feathers on its head. Often calls and sings from elevated perches—a rapid and rolling series of 5 to 15 syllables that sounds almost like a video game.
Small, nondescript brown bird with a short tail, thin bill, and dark barring on wings and tail with a paler throat.
Adult male Summer Tanagers are entirely bright red. Females and immature males are bright yellow-green—yellower on the head and underparts and slightly greener on the back and wings. The bill is pale. Molting immature males can be patchy yellow and red.
If there is any black on the face, around the bill and into the eye, it’s a Cardinal. If the face is red around the bill and into the eye, it’s a Pyrrhuloxia. If gray is a predominate color, it’s likely to be a Pyrrhuloxia.
Adult males are flame-orange and black, with a solid-black head and one white bar on their black wings. Females and immature males are yellow-orange on the breast, grayish on the head and back, with two bold white wing bars.
Adult males are black-and-white birds with a brilliant red chevron extending from the black throat down the middle of the breast. Females and immatures are brown and heavily streaked, with a bold whitish stripe over the eye. Males flash pink-red under the wings; females flash yellowish.
Meaning: Someone who is a Grey Cardinal exerts power behind the scenes, without drawing attention to himself or herself.
Measurements. In spring and summer, adult males are an unmistakable, brilliant red with black wings and tails. Females and fall immatures are olive-yellow with darker olive wings and tails. After breeding, adult males molt to female-like plumage, but with black wings and tail.
The Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) is a common bird in many areas of the Pacific Northwest. They visit yards and feeders and are visually striking. In the wild, flickers can be seen most commonly around standing trees that are dead or dying.
Despite their bright coloring, sightings of this bird are a rarity. This is primarily because they are found only in the upper canopy of trees where they spend their time moving slowly in search of food. Besides being rarely seen, they are also rarely heard.
Cardinal is a vivid red, which may get its name from the cassocks worn by Catholic cardinals (although the color worn by cardinals is scarlet).
American Robins are gray-brown birds with warm orange underparts and dark heads. In flight, a white patch on the lower belly and under the tail can be conspicuous. Compared with males, females have paler heads that contrast less with the gray back.
Northern Cardinals are best known for the male’s bright red hue. But there’s a surprising change in coloration that occurs as a cardinal matures, with males and females taking on differing amounts of the red pigments as adults. Take a look at our video. If playback doesn’t begin shortly, try restarting your device.
Gray coloured birds are found in most families of bird species, including gnatcatchers, thrushes, vireos, chickadees, nuthatches and so on.
Small Gray birds are often flycatchers, chickadees and gnatcatchers, but the most common are Dark-eyed Juncos or Gray Catbirds.
Bushtits are tiny, almost round, soft gray birds with a long tail and stubby bill.