The northern cardinal is a bird that we see here in Minnesota all year long. Even in winter the cardinals stick around giving us a little color in our world of white. So when we were down taking a tour of the King Ranch in southern Texas in 2010 we did not pay a lot of attention to the northern cardinals that we spotted. That was until our guide mentioned that the cardinals in Texas seem to be more red then in other places in the United States. This could be possible. Male northern cardinals get their red color from the carotenoid pigments in their diets. Carotenoids are organic pigments found in many plants that range from yellow to red. If a cardinal has a diet that is higher in red carotenoid pigments it may come of as a brighter color of red. Cardinals eating only yellow pigment will not turn yellow though, instead they will become a paler shade of red. So perhaps it is true that the cardinals in Texas are more red but the ones that we saw, and photographed, did not appear any different to me.