Northern Cardinal (female) by Renee Dawson

Featured in Canon DSLR, August 8, 2009.
Featured in Songbirds of North America, August 8, 2009.

Featured in the Woman Photographer August 6, 2009

Female Northern Cardinal image taken on my property, in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada on August 5, 2009.

Male mate to this lovely female.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi with 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens @ 320mm. SS 1/125, f/5.6, EC -1/3, ISO 400 (How it turned out with this shutter speed, through a window, AND hand held is beyond me!…lol) Tonal adjustments completed in Digital Photo Professional & PShop.

Northern Cardinal info. courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 20-23 centimeters long and a wingspan of 25–31 centimeters. It weighs about 45 grams. The male is slightly larger than the female. The male is a brilliant crimson red with a black face mask over the eyes, extending to the upper chest. The color is dullest on the back and wings.

The female is fawn, with mostly grayish-brown tones and a reddish tint on the wings, the crest, and the tail feathers. The face mask of the female is gray to black and is less defined than that of the male. Both sexes possess prominent raised crests and bright coral-colored beaks.

Mated pairs sometimes sing together before nesting. During courtship they may also participate in a bonding behavior where the male collects food and brings it to the female, feeding her beak-to-beak. If the mating is successful, this mate-feeding may continue throughout the period of incubation.

The oldest wild Cardinal banded by researchers lived at least 15 years and 9 months.

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I love nature, animals & art. I offer on-location, and in studio, family & pet photography sessions in the Bay of Quinte area & commission digital paintings of people & pets worldwide.

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  • Beve Brown-Clark
    Beve Brown-Clarkover 5 years ago

    OMG…striking a pose for you…I see that lens is really working for you…wonderful colors and awsome details!!

  • Thank you Bevie :) This is the point where she saw me in the window. I held my breath, kept as still as I could and CLICKED!….lol The cardinals are so incredibly timid. I’ve been over 3 years trying to get a half decent shot

    – Renee Dawson

  • andreisky
    andreiskyover 5 years ago

    Fantastic capture! well done Renee!

  • Thank you very much Andrei :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • karebare599
    karebare599over 5 years ago

    Wonderful capture! Love the composition and clarity!

  • Thank you very much for the kind comment :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    AWWWW!!!! Such a pretty darling!!!!!! Wonderful rich colors, Renee … she looks so bright and perky!!!!!

  • Thank you sweetie. You’re not going to believe this……after all this time trying to get decent shots of this cardinal pair the MALE landed in the same area tonight! He RARELY does that – always stays in the bushes or on the ground under the bushes.

    – Renee Dawson

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 5 years ago

    She’s so beautiful!!!!! A lovely capture!!!!!

  • Thank you very much Lori! You are always so sweet & encouraging. I appreciate your lovely notes :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • Veronica Schultz
    Veronica Schultzover 5 years ago

    Beautiful shot! Her coloring is gorgeous!

  • Thank you very much Veronica. I know you love birds just as much as I do :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • mltrue
    mltrueover 5 years ago

    Renee- this is such a wonderful image. Great detail and color!

  • Thank you very much for the kind note Michelle! :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • Larry Llewellyn
    Larry Llewellynover 5 years ago

    I envy you… just a perfect shot! WOW factor for sure instant fav..

  • Thank you very much for the kind note & fav Larry :) I’d love to say this happened overnight but it didn’t…lol I’ve been 3 years trying to get half decent images of this lovely cardinal pair :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • LeilaniMelayna
    LeilaniMelaynaover 5 years ago

    I love this capture of your Northern Female Cardinal! Wonderfyl glance…you got kind of lucky! It is a great shot…you really had her interest peaked! I love red birds so….thanks so much for this view!

    Smiles Leilani

  • Thanks so much for the lovely note Leilani. Yes, luck was FINALLY on my side for this one. I’ve been forever trying to get a nice image of this lovely lady :)

    – Renee Dawson

  • Sheryl Kasper
    Sheryl Kasperover 5 years ago

    You have one heck of a steady hand. ;)
    Great photo.

  • lol…I’m not so sure about that (on a regular basis anyway). I do hold my breath alot when it’s a shot I really REALLY want to get…LOL Thank you Sher :)

    – Renee Dawson

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