Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Cardinals are most well known for their bright red colors on a snowy winter day - the Cardinalis cardinalis is named of course for its red feathers. The males are bright red with a crest and pointed beak. The females are brown, with the same crest and pointed beak.
Cardinals have a variety of songs, including ´whoit whoit whoit´ and a chipping song. The main call is sort of a long rising note. They also call out a loud "Cheer Cheer Cheer" to claim their territory, which is a quicker descending note.
They live in much of the US, living in suburbs, towns, woods, and everything in between. They enjoy black oiled sunflower seeds greatly, and also eat other seeds and insects.
Sometimes called a "redbird", they are usually found in a solitary pair, raising their chicks together. They raise up to 4 at a time, and may have as many as 3 or 4 sets of chicks over the course of a year. The eggs only take around 14 days to hatch.
Cardinals can live for up to 15 years and have very large territories. They might stay near one area, or they might wander far afield, only returning occasionally.
Many More Photos of the Male Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal Photos
The "Cheer" Call of a Cardinal (MP3)
The long, rising call (WAV)
Presents with a Cardinal Theme
The Birding Encyclopedia