The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a striking bird that is popular among bird enthusiasts for their brilliant red plumage and distinct crest. In this post, we will delve into the details of this beautiful bird.
The northern cardinal is a medium-sized songbird with a length of about 8-9 inches and wingspan of 10-12 inches. The male has bright red feathers on its head, throat, breast, and tail while the female has a more subdued brownish-red coloration. Both sexes have black face masks and crests on their heads that can be raised or lowered depending on their mood.
Where To Find This Bird
The northern cardinal is native to North America and can be found throughout most parts of the United States as well as southern Canada and Mexico. They are commonly seen in backyards, parks, gardens, wooded areas, and along streams or rivers.
Northern cardinals prefer habitats with dense vegetation such as shrubs, trees with thick foliage or thorny branches. They also like areas close to water sources such as ponds or streams where they can easily find food. During breeding season they build nests using twigs in shrubs or small trees usually less than ten feet off the ground.
These birds mainly feed on seeds but also eat insects especially during breeding season when they need more protein to raise their young chicks successfully. Their diet includes sunflower seeds which are common at backyard feeders but also eat safflower seeds if available.
Did you know that male Northern Cardinals sing throughout the year? Unlike many other birds who only sing during mating season males continue singing even after breeding season ends because it helps them protect their territory from rival males.
Another interesting fact about these birds is that they are monogamous, meaning they mate with only one partner for life. They also have a range of other calls and songs that express different emotions such as warning signals or mating calls.
In conclusion, Northern Cardinals are fascinating creatures that bring color and beauty to backyards across North America. Their striking red plumage coupled with their melodious songs make them easily recognizable among other bird species. With proper food sources and habitat available, these birds can thrive in suburban areas too.