Can a Cardinal be Orange?

I saw a bird today on our walk that looked like a juvenile cardinal, in fact, I’m fairly sure it was a juvenile cardinal. But it caught my eye because where it should have been read, it was bright orange, not like an orange, orange, but like a deep bright pumpkin orange.

I wonder if he’ll stay that way or if he’ll turn red as he gets older.

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8 thoughts on “Can a Cardinal be Orange?

  1. Females are always a dun colour. That way they aren’t as visible to predators when they sit the nest. During mating season they pick up a sort of rusty umber undertone. But the pumpkin cardinals are very much pumpkin, not that rust of a female.

  2. I should explain that cardinals are the Indiana State Bird and I did a paper on them for school. Also, they’re my mom’s favourite bird and so we read up on how to attract them, their habits, etc. My parents have about 9 cardinal feeding stations, etc. So I have what is basically an unhealthy and obssessive Rain Man fixation on cardinals specifically.

  3. Like I said, it looked like a juvenile. There was a female with it, and she was larger and definitely browner. This kid had the juvenile brownish areas, but the parts of him that usually are red were pumpkin.

    I was surprised, because it seems very early to have a juvenile that large and feathered, but we’ve had such a weird spring I just figured the cardinals got started early. But he was definitely practicing flying.

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