Posts Tagged ‘female cardinal’

Do you prefer the bold color of the iconic male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) to the more subtle coloration of the female cardinal or are you on the fence?

“Fierce” is the word that came to mind when I first saw the image I had shot of this female cardinal with the spiky red Mohawk hairstyle and don’t-mess-with-me glare. Although I took this photo at my local marshland park, the simple wire fence gives it a kind of urban feel that seems appropriate for this subject.

I wonder if she has body piercings or a tattoo—it wouldn’t surprise me if she does.

female Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The setting and the perspective were not completely natural, but somehow I ended up with an image of a female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) that I really like.

I ran across this cardinal almost two weeks ago when I was just starting my exploration of the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park in Augusta, Georgia. She was perched almost directly overhead on a wire and seemed to be warming herself in the rays of the morning sun. It was the start of a beautiful sunny day and already the skies were blue.

Georgia was already well into spring and you can see some of beautiful colors of the flowering trees in the blurred background. I managed to get the facial area of the cardinal in pretty sharp focus, which contrasts nicely with the background.

It won’t be long before we have flowering trees in Northern Virginia, where I live, but at least we have daffodils in bloom to remind us that spring is finally here.


Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Male Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) are featured in photographs much more frequently than their female counterparts. In fact, last week a male cardinal was the star of my blog entry entitled Cardinal Directions. The male cardinal is so bright and conspicuous that he is hard to miss, like a song played with the volume cranked up.

Sometimes, though, my eyes prefer a more delicate, refined beauty and at those moments I find the look of the lady cardinal more to my tastes. There is still some bright red coloration, but it serves as a tasteful accent against the warm brown tones of the rest of the body.

I usually have trouble getting clear shots of female cardinals, who seem to prefer the inside parts of bushes. In this case, I managed to get a mostly unobstructed view and the green of the background blurred out pretty well.

The position of her body is interesting too. It looks like she was facing forward and turned her head to look at me. Perhaps, though, I caught her in the midst of her morning exercise routine—the pose looks like the trunk twists that are done in aerobics classes. Cardinals (like most of us) are not immune to putting on some extra weight during the holiday season, it seems, and she may be trying to stay toned and fit.

Lady Cardinal

Lady Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Some people claim that the camera adds ten pounds, and that seems to be the case with this female Northern Cardinal. Maybe it’s just the angle or she had fluffed up her feathers for better insulation, but it sure looks to me like she has been fattening herself up for the winter. In fact, you probably noticed that I caught her in mid-bite. I’m not sure what she is eating, but there are lots of colorful berries in the background from which to choose.

Some people claim that they eat like a bird—I hope they don’t mean they eat like this particular bird.

Cardinal in mid-bite

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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