Northern Cardinals molt from late summer through mid autumn. While most of the year the male cardinals red plumage is strikingly beautiful, during the molt their appearance can be offputting. The first two images posted were captured at our natural birdfeeders this morning.
The females molt during the same timeframe. While not as colorful as their mates when fully feathered, they are just as ragtag during the molt.
However just because birds are not fully feathered they are still worthy of one's time and effort to photograph them. This image captured on October 31st of a molting male eating poke berries is featured in a double page spread in the 2012 September/October edition of Pennsylvania Magazine.