February 9, 2019
| You Looking for Me? by Justin Springer |
Congratulations to our BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice winner, Justin Springer of El Paso, TX, for this close-up shot of a Pyrrhuloxia! Justin was sitting in a bird blind at Franklin Mountains State Park when he saw this bird, and described his experience:
I’m pretty sure this little guy knew I was trying to get his photo so he kept taunting me. He would stay just far enough back in the brush to keep me from getting a clear shot and a couple times he flew right at me and I’m pretty sure he landed on top of the blind. After about half an hour of this I guess he finally felt sorry for me and landed on a branch in the open and then tilted his head giving me this quizzical “Are you going to take this photo or just sit there?” look. He sat still long enough for me to click off a couple frames and then disappeared.
Pyrrhuloxia are closely related to Northern Cardinals, but they are a crisp gray and red, with a longer, elegant crest and a stubby, parrotlike yellow bill. They live in the desert scrub of the Southwest but will come to backyards for seeds, particularly sunflower. Pyrrhuloxia are more likely to feed from ground feeders or from scattered or discarded seeds than visit elevated feeders. They may also feed from native, fruit-bearing shrubs or cacti. Learn more about Pyrrhuloxia.
Submissions are still open for the current BirdSpotter category The Unexpected. Submit your photo by midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, February 14, for a chance to win! Winners will be announced on Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23. Biweekly People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners receive prizes from the Cornell Lab and our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited. Anyone can participate by entering a photo and voting for their favorites. Find out more about the BirdSpotter contest.