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|OTHER WILD BIRD STORIES
Bird Watching Stories
(Go Back to Wild Bird Page Contents)
|» Aransas in the Fog:
|» No Barbeque this Summer|
|» Barn Swallow "Mama"|
|» Just How Does a Bird Eat Bees?|
|» My Birdwatching Adventures in Costa Rica|
|» Just Another Golden Eagle|
| » Four Birds in One Tree:
A Few Days of Birdwatching in England
|» Four Calling Birds???|
|» A Very Unique Cardinal|
|» Narcissism or Territorial
Defense: Macho Cardinal
|» The Last Companion Carolina Paroquet|
|» The Ever-Popular Chickadee|
|» Convergent Evolution: Meadowlark and Longclaw|
|» Barrel Cactus Confrontation|
|» Galahs Playing Around and Around and Around ...|
|» Who Made Up This Stuff?
Bird Call Mnemonics
|» Mesmerizing a Goldfinch|
|» The Best Mimic?|
|» Prairie Chickens and Woodcocks:
|» Mob Mentality: Who is Really in Control of the Skies?|
|» The Owl Who Sat Down Beside Me|
|» Meeting Hot Shot: The Toddler Peregrine Falcon|
|» Seeing 'Sea Parrots'
| » A Rare and Unusual Bird
Meeting Roger Tory Peterson
|» Raven Showoffs|
|» Reddish Egrets a nd Canopy Feeding|
| » Robins and Worms
Hear, See, Smell, or Feel?
|» Hospital Halucinations|
|» What Are You Doing Here? Scissortail Flycatcher|
|» Wild Bird "Attacks": Just Misunderstandings?|
|» Drunken Waxwings and an Unusual Hummingbird Feeder|
|» Acorn Woodpecker Defending its Stash|
|» Why Woodpeckers Don't Get Headaches: Built in Shock Absorber|
|IS IT A STRANGE CRESTED ORIOLE OR A STRANGE YELLOW CARDINAL?|
|A Local Bird Watching Treat|
|by Sally Blanchard
Once they hear about a rare or unusual bird sighting, many wild bird watchers will travel miles to see a bird they have never seen before. It is pretty special when you only have to go up the street to see something special. Years ago when I lived in Wichita, the word went out that there was a gorgeous cardinal at the back yard feeder of a local bird watcher. Gorgeous it was but it was anything but normal. It was the bright yellow-orange color of a Baltimore (Northern) Oriole.
The bird hung around for several days and hundreds of bird watchers came to see a fairly common bird with very uncommon plumage. In this case, the bird exhibited a condition called xanthochromism. This is a term that applies to a bird that lacks the ability to produce red pigmentation. It is a natural but uncommon mutation in the wild. I had seen one other bird with this condition before I saw the cardinal. It was a downy woodpecker and the normally red patch at the back of his head was a bright yellow color.