On Monday I shared a couple of pics of a funky-looking Scarlet Tanager at the Sandy Ridge Campground. In that post I said that the multitude of colors were because an immature male was molting into an adult male. I did a little more research after looking at the picture below, which shows an adult male in non-breeding plumage. The bright red color of a Scarlet Tanager is its breeding plumage; it loses its red plumage after breeding which is replaced by this greenish-yellow plumage. Therefore I believe the multicolored tanager was in the process of molting from breeding to non-breeding plumage (please correct me if I’m wrong).
I mentioned in Monday’s post that we went to the campground to find a small flock of Red Crossbills. We did locate them by the leaky faucet. This next image of a female Red Crossbill clearly shows the top and bottom mandibles of the bill crossing. This allows the bird to easily crack tough pine seeds for food.
This picture of the male also does a pretty good job of showing the unique crossbill.
This same male Red Crossbill just catapulted itself down from its perch toward the leaky faucet in the campground.
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