Please ID: large (between a BlueJay and a Robin) red (overall except black mask and black throat) bird with light-colored cone-shaped beak that frequents bird feeder in wooded backyard in North Carolina. Looks eversomuch like a huge Cardinal except "Big Red" does not have a crest. Thank you in advance for your help.
Posted 19 August 2005 - 06:00 AM
Posted 20 August 2005 - 10:51 AM
Hello, we're back early and happy to chime in on the conversation. In general it sounds like you've perfectly described a Cardinal, especially because nothing else is red, has a black face, and a light-colored bill. You say the bird is huge, but about the size of a jay or robin, so it's still within the range of a Cardinal. The lack of a crest is not of particular concern since this bird could be holding it down, or molting its crest feathers. It is a little more difficult to explain the long forked tail, however, so if you're convinced of this field mark it may steer us to another identification. But first of all, are you absolutely convinced that this bird is not a Cardinal? We would say that the light-colored bill on a red bird is a rock solid field mark for a Cardinal.
Let us know,
David Lukas and Simone Whitecloud
Posted 21 August 2005 - 11:20 AM
i have also seen a large red bird like the one you descibe, and that is why I came to this web site.
I live in Madison, Wi and have noticed this bird for the last few weeks. It is about the same size and color as a cardinal (red not orange) but its body shape and stance is more robin-like and has no apparent crest, the head and neck are black not just the face with the body and wings all red. I often have cardinals here and thought it was one until I looked more closely.The female is lighter colored then a cardinal more waxwing like. i'll try to note more details next time and try for a picture.
all the pictures of grosebills, finches and tanangers I've seen don't quite fit. -- i'll be staying curious!
nan in madison
Posted 22 August 2005 - 11:39 AM
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