Despite seeing Northern Cardinals pretty regularly, I found it a challenge to get a good image of one. This one surprised me landing over my head as I was watching warblers at ground level. He had a lot going for him: classic pose with his crest up, aligned to the sun for the catch light in his eye, his feathers tidy and uniformly colored and oh, yes, that red.
Most of the leaves had fallen off the tree where he perched giving me a clear view. Cardinals in our area tend to be quite skittish; this one didn’t seem to care that I was watching him.