Subtle Valentine’s Day colors

When people think of northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) they often visualize the brilliant red males. The female is not nearly as showy, and is easily overlooked. Nevertheless, I think she is quite beautiful, with shades of red in her feathers, bright red ‘eyebrows’, and a red beak outlined in black.

female northern cardinal on icy branch

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Carolina wrens – another backyard favorite

It was a cold, snowy weekend here in Lexington, which brought lots of different birds (eighteen species) to our feeders. I enjoyed watching all of them, but must admit I have my favorites, including our pair of Carolina wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus). These small birds have a rusty-colored back, prominent eye stripe, long curved beak and up-turned tail. They are permanent residents and provide much enjoyment all year round.

Carolina wren on ground

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