Cardinal And Pyrrhuloxia

Last night I posted some images of a female Northern Cardinal, a member of one of two species of Cardinals that live in southeastern Arizona.  The other species of Cardinal that lives here is the Pyrrhuloxia.  This latter species is a close relative of the Northern Cardinal (I’ve been told that the two species occasionally interbreed) but there are significant differences in appearance.  However, people often confuse a male Pyrrhuloxia with a female Northern Cardinal, so I thought I’d show the two together in order to highlight the differences.  Here, again, is a female Northern Cardinal.

_N4B6736 copyHer breast, back, and most of her face have a ruddy hue.  Her beak is bright red and wedge-shaped.  She sports a bright red crest, red accents on her face, red outer wings, and a red tail.  Now, here’s a male Pyrrhuloxia.

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Unlike the female Northern Cardinal, he has a slightly curved, ivory tinted beak.  It is also a bit shorter than the Northern Cardinal’s beak.  His body is gray, as opposed to the female Northern Cardinal’s overall ruddy tint.  His crest is partly gray, but with a brilliant red peak.  His face is a brilliant red.  He has splashes of brilliant red on his breast.

Here’s another view of a male Pyrrhuloxia.

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These birds really don’t look all that much alike when one sees them side by side.  Tomorrow, I’ll post some images of male Northern Cardinals.  Now, there’s no mistaking those birds!

All images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO+1.4X Extender, aperture preferred setting.  The camera and lens was supported on a solid object for each photo.  The first image shot at ISO 800, f5.6 @ 1/250.  The second and third images shot at ISO 1000, f5.6 @ 1/800.



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