Small black (very dark) bird with small crest that has a "chirp" like a cardinal?

by Ron Ray
(Huntsville, Alabama)

There is a bird that is always in a small group of a hackberry, silver maple and dogwood trees near my house. It is a little smaller than a northern cardinal, black (or very dark blue), has a small crest (like a Cardinal) and has a metallic "chirp" call like a Cardinal, but LOUDER and more frequent. In fact, a red northern cardinal is almost always near this bird and his mate.

It is very shy and at first would not get lower than the uppermost limbs of the trees, so I could only hear it. Gradually, it got closer to me and actually acted interested in me. I recorded a video of it and uploaded to YouTube. The video is at:
I have never seen a bird like this around north Alabama before and I'm now wondering if it could be a 'mutant' cardinal?

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Aug 05, 2013
Shiny head cowbird? NEW
by: Amy indiana

Not sure but it might be a shiny head cowbird. Couldnt get your youtube link to work. Shiny cowbird is not crested but maybe your bird is a juvenile having a bad hair day. Google pics and see what you think. I have an app and the call of the shiny head sounds a little like a cardinal. Good luck. Let us know what you think!

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