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Northern Cardinal - Cardinalis cardinalis

Click on photos below for a larger view. More thumbs below

Description


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Size: 7-9"

Males are a brilliant red with a crest and black face; red bill.

Females grayish-olive above, paler below. Varying amounts
of red on crest, wings and tail: pink bill; crest and black area
around bill smaller than in the male.

Voice: many variations; a whistled "what-chew, what-chew, wit wit wit" also "birdy-birdy-birdy"

Range: From Nova Scotia to the Dakotas south to Florida and Texas (small area of Arizona and southern California)

This bird is a seed-eater. Sunflower seeds from a platform feeder are their favorite in our yard. Since Cardinals are nonmigratory, they are sure to brighten up your winter landscape.

The Cardinal population in our yard has been very sparse the last few years and we very rarely see them. At first we had quite a large group as regular visitors but since then we only get an occasional stray.

One spring I enjoyed listening to a male that sang in a pine tree that is outside my office door. I finally saw a little female trying to track him down. I guess all that singing paid off in the end.

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