Christmas Cardinal

December 21, 2012

Throughout the year, especially around Christmas, I receive numerous orders for prints of cardinals, bright red males, of course. I find the female cardinal to be a gorgeous bird in her own right, but her beauty is often taken for granted within the context of the glorious male. Recently, I was going through some images of female cardinals and I ran across this winter gem. Shot on a cloudy day, the rose-colored feathers and tuft of this healthy lady were nicely saturated, as was her candy corn bill.

I was happy to see that I caught her snacking on a juniper berry from a cedar tree right here on the farm. It’s hard to imagine a bird would eat such a bitter morsel but I suppose a cardinal’s taste bud density is next to nothing compared to that of a human. Many people don’t care for cedar trees but I’ve found them to be a favorite habitat for songbirds, including blue jays, cardinals, yellow-rumped warblers and of course, cedar waxwings. Cedar trees not only provide a great food source but they offer the deep cover that is sometimes necessary to escape predators such as the Cooper’s hawk.

I hope you enjoy this holiday image, my last post before Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, I’ll be sharing a a “Christmas Card” edition of Nature Frames next Tuesday morning. Although some followers of Nature Frames may not celebrate Christmas, I’m confident you’ll enjoy Tuesday’s special edition, simply for the sweet slice of nature it is sure to provide.

Happy Holidays!


Canon 1DMarkIV; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens with 1.4 TC II; 1/250 @ f/5.6; ISO 400; Aperture Priority; RAW Capture; Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod with Wimberley II Gimbal Head; Trekker T-100 Blind; Converted and Processed in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)


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8 comments on “Christmas Cardinal”

  1. This is a very beautiful cardinal…first one I have seen like this…when I think Cardinal…I think red…don’t know how you do it Dan….but what an awesome photographer you are…I can’t say that enough…every picture you post is more beautiful than the next…

  2. Love the berry lovely portrait of Mrs N. C! :))) It sort of brings out the festive spirit completely.

    • I agree Deepa; maybe I should have used this one for my Christmas card instead of the one I’m sending out Tuesday morning. We’ll see.

  3. Danny, She is beautiful! Thanks for sharing this. It made my day! Merry Christmas to you and yours! Brenda

    Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 11:18:40 +0000 To:

    • You are welcome and Merry Christmas to you as well. I hope to make it down to Forest Park over the holidays.

  4. Best Christmas photo I’ve seen this year.

    • Thanks Lyle…that means a lot because I bet you’ve seen a few! Watch for my actual Christmas card on Christmas morning. Take care.

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