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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:14   #1
mrbillpro
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New here with Bird question.

How can I tell the difference between a Red Bird and a Cardinal? I live in Houston, Tx and I have a bunch of either Red Birds are Cardinals in my back yard. This morning it was great! it appeared that the Mom and Dad took two very young baby's out to learn to hunt I could see the baby's catch insects in mid-air wow!
Thanks
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:17   #2
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Hi Mr Bill and welcome on behalf of the Staff and Moderators

I can't help I'm afraid but there'll be someone along soon from your area to advise you

D
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:26   #3
Bird Hard 2
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Mr. Bill,
There isn't actually a species of bird called a 'Red Bird', so do you think that your Red Bird actually is just a Cardinal?
Here is a good photo of a male (left) with a female (right)
http://www.northrup.org/Photos/cardi...e-cardinal.jpg
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:29   #4
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I don't know what you mean by red birds. Perhaps you mean Scarlet Tanager or Summer Tanager?

But Cardinals are the only bird in your area that are totally red with a crest of the top of their head.
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:50   #5
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Hello, and welcome to Birdforum.

I don't now exactly what you mean but I'll give it a try.

The only birds that are totally red are cardinals and tanagers.
You can tell Cardinals from Tanagers by the bill shape, shape/structure, tail length etc. A Cardinal has a pink cone-shaped bill tanagers don't. Also Cardinals have a long tail with a black face which is lacking in Summer Tanager (See here.). You can tell Summer Tanagers from Scarlet by the black wings on Scarlet. And Summer is totally red. (See this Scarlet Tanager.) compared with the Summer Tanager above.
Summer Tanagers are the only red bird in you're area that is totally red, besides cardinals.
If you don't have a field guide to birds I would suggest you buy one. Get the Sibley if you can.
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:54   #6
mrbillpro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Hard 2 View Post
Mr. Bill,
There isn't actually a species of bird called a 'Red Bird', so do you think that your Red Bird actually is just a Cardinal?
And you are probably right they both look the same is why I asked, here is something I was reading so I really thought they might be Red Birds, thanks so much for your help, I hope it's ok to post links here I don't want to blow it on my second post.

http://www.birdnature.com/feb1897/cardinal.html
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:59   #7
mrbillpro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Hard 2 View Post
Mr. Bill,
There isn't actually a species of bird called a 'Red Bird', so do you think that your Red Bird actually is just a Cardinal?
Here is a good photo of a male (left) with a female (right)
http://www.northrup.org/Photos/cardi...e-cardinal.jpg
You are exactly right this what you listed is what both Birds look like in my yard, thanks so much!

Last edited by mrbillpro : Tuesday 12th August 2008 at 17:23.
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 16:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbillpro View Post
And you are probably right they both look the same is why I asked, here is something I was reading so I really thought they might be Red Birds, thanks so much for your help, I hope it's ok to post links here I don't want to blow it on my second post.

http://www.birdnature.com/feb1897/cardinal.html
The picture in the link is a Cardinal. I guess in the late nineteenth century there were a lot of competing local names for Cardinals (the author mentions Red Bird, Virginia Red Bird, Virginia Nightingale, and Crested Red Bird) before Cardinal became the nationally known and standardised name.

A similar thing happened here with birds like the Lapwing, which was previously known by several different regional names.

Graham
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 18:17   #9
Motmot
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The id was easy. That link says they associate in January and February with snow birds...
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Old Tuesday 12th August 2008, 20:24   #10
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I would guess that a good majority of people in the southeast US still call them redbirds (the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team is often referred to as redbirds as well), even though the AOU name is Northern Cardinal. They just aren't birders. Summer Tanagers were once know as summer redbirds, to distinguish them from the "redbirds", which are present all year in these parts.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbillpro View Post
How can I tell the difference between a Red Bird and a Cardinal? I live in Houston, Tx and I have a bunch of either Red Birds are Cardinals in my back yard. This morning it was great! it appeared that the Mom and Dad took two very young baby's out to learn to hunt I could see the baby's catch insects in mid-air wow!
Thanks
Mr. Bill
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Old Wednesday 13th August 2008, 01:40   #11
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Many people throughout the south, not just southeast, United States call Northern Cardinals Redbirds. I grew up in Dallas, Texas - the north central part of the state, and never really heard of a Northern Cardinal till I left home. They were always called Redbirds. Now 40 odd years later whenever my mother sees a Cardinal it is still a Redbird to her. She talks about Redbirds all the time, and when I gently try and correct her it does no good.
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