Not all Red Birds are Cardinals


Cardinals were everywhere at Brazos Bend State Park .  I was seeing 10-15 at a time.  They were in the shrubs, trees, bushes and on the ground.  I’m tellin’ you there must have been a flock of 70 birds there.  Often I would see movement, only to swing up my bins to see yet another Cardinal.  By day 2 of birding the park, I was basically ignoring them-the cardinal sin.  (cardinal, sin, get it.. hehehehe.)  But you know what they say.  “Bird every bird.”  That means, do not assume, take for granted or otherwise be a lazy birder.   Because you never know. In this case.  Ain’t that the truth.  I brushed past this guy with a shrug  then a little alarm bell went off.  “Wait, something is not right!”  Turns out, it was So NOT a Cardinal.  While it was not a life bird, it was the best look I have ever had of a Vermillion Flycatcher.


I seem to have to re-learn this lesson pretty regularly.  I pass it on to you.  “Bird Every Bird.”


Filed under Photos, Travel

12 responses to “Not all Red Birds are Cardinals

  1. Very cool! As a new birder, I am happy to learn these kinds of lessons. Nice pictures.

  2. Stunning bird and a great photo.

    I learned a similar lesson while on holiday in New South Wales last December. While having a picnic lunch in a park I saw a small flock of sparrows feeding nearby. Just a common House Sparrow I thought – but then the call didn’t seem right.

    A closer inspection showed that they were in fact Eurasian Tree Sparrows, a new tick for my Australian List. (I had previously seen them in Thailand so not a Lifer).

    Photos here:

  3. Such a gorgeous bird!! I too get caught up in the mindset in regards to seeing so many common birds that I sometimes will not see the unfamiliar one mixed in between them. The way I look at it is how can an uncommon bird be mixed in with the flock. Your post is a perfect example of why one should always look.

  4. mainebirder

    Great find! I wish I would run across a Vermillion Flycatcher among a buch of Northern Cardinals!

  5. True, true. I hate to think how many birds I have mis-identified by assuming they were the common bird. On the other hand, it usually ends up being the common bird most of the time….

  6. Beautiful shot, Bev. I can’t believe you were here for one week and found all these wonderful birds that I still have never seen! 😉 I’ll definitely have to remember that lesson, though. Bird every bird. Got it!

  7. Red

    I will certainly remember this. For months I hadn’t noticed we had a female Purple Finch until weekend before last. It’s still a lesson I’ll still need to learn again and again 🙂

  8. I love cardinals.

    They are the state bird in West Virginia.

  9. bug

    I wanted to prove to my mom that there are more red birds then just cardnials. With your help I proved to my mom that there are more red birds thn just cardnials:)

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