The attractive red northern cardinal is quite common in Houston (and all of the southern US states), but seems to have an uncanny ability to know when a camera shutter is about to be clicked, always absenting itself just before the said event. They are quite happy to be viewed nearby, so long as there is a barrier of twigs between them and you, such as in the featured image. As soon as there is a clear view, they just fly off, or possibly wait until the camera is pointed.
With a source of food around, such as the garden feeder we set up a year ago, they were a bit less wary, so long as you kept your distance. These were taken with mazimum zoom on Panasonic DMC-ZS15.
This is a vocal songbird and this website gives good examples of their calls.