I thought I'd take a bit of time to address some things that have come to me through the comments to the blog recently.
First, I'm excited to tell everyone that there was an article in the Montreal Gazette on Wed. 1/21 that mentions this blog and the now famous gynandromporph cardinal. Dr. David Bird (and that is his real name) gave us a mention in a column he writes for the general public. You can link to it here:
Montreal Gazette Article
Sometimes readers will have questions and if they leave an address I try to reply but this reply will have to be public because I don't have an email address for this questioner. "A Girl" asked for help in IDing a hawk she saw. From the description there are several possibilities but a large hawk with white on the belly and in the tail, being found at this time of year suggests Rough-legged Hawk. They are being seen pretty regularly in much of the midwest. Be careful, juvenile Rough-leggeds look different from adults at this time of year.
Finally, Alisa left a comment about the cardinal and seemed to not believe this was anything more than a photoshop job. I can assure you it's not. The condition of gynandromorphy is well documented (even though rare) and the genetics of how this happens is also well understood. Don't you love a world where reality can be so strange that it seems like science fiction?
Arthur C. Clarke has nothing on Mother Nature!