Can you tell which one is the female cardinal and which one is the juvenile cardinal in the photo below?
The cardinals in my neighborhood had two broods this summer. As soon as the first young were out of the nest and feeding, they started courting right away and laid a second set of eggs. The young from the second nesting are just now leaving the nest and the adults are bringing them around to our feeder. I was just telling Non Birding Bill this morning over breakfast that after all the work this week, I could really use some time to go out digiscoping and as soon as I looked out the window, these two perched on one of the wires in the alley.
This is the juvenile cardinal alone on the wire--it looks so dejected now that the female flew away and isn't feeding it. An easy way to tell them apart is that the female as the bright orange bill and the juveniles have the black bill. Soon the juveniles will molt into their adult plumage--they they'll really go through that awkward phase.