My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a North American bird in the genus Cardinalis; it is also known colloquially as the redbird or common cardinal. It can be found in southern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and south through Mexico. It is found in woodlands, gardens, shrub lands, and swamps.

The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 21 centimeters (8.3 inches). It has a distinctive crest on the head and a mask on the face which is black in the male and gray in the female. The male is a vibrant red, while the female is a dull red-brown shade. The Northern Cardinal is mainly granivorous, but also feeds on insects and fruit. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four clutches are produced each year.

The females tend to be shy and retiring, staying hidden in thickets most of the time. The males are very aggressive when it comes to defending their territories, and can often be seen perched near the top of a tree while singing to let other males know who the boss is.

Cardinals will readily come to a backyard feeder, and they are often the birds people most want to attract when they do begin feeding birds.

On to the photos.

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

 

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile male northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

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Male northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Juvenile female northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Female northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

This is number 17 in my photo life list, only 333 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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14 responses

  1. A couple of those cardinals look like they did a few spins in a clothes dryer-kind of scruffy. Or “badly drawn” as tootlepedal would say!

    January 31, 2013 at 6:26 am

    • Thanks, I’m not sure if it was because of the heat or the drought, but that seemed to hold for many species last summer.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:11 am

  2. A very hard-working bird, too. They’re usually up early and last at the feeder!

    January 31, 2013 at 8:16 am

    • Thanks, they are birds that like lower light conditions.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:08 am

  3. Northern Narratives

    Beautiful photos of cardinals. Here’s a link about the birds losing their head feathers:

    http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/BaldBirds.htm

    January 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    • Thank you! And, thanks for the link!

      January 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

  4. One of my favorite species- I never tire of seeing them and getting their photos!

    February 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    • Thanks, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of them here.

      February 2, 2013 at 1:37 am

  5. You’re becoming a regular Audubon!

    February 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    • Thank you, but not hardly.

      February 2, 2013 at 1:55 am

  6. Love cardinals, only one couple at my deck all winter 😦 They are so beautiful in the snow! Nice shots!

    February 2, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    • Thanks, they way that they multiply, you’ll have more soon.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:21 am

  7. Pingback: If you seek inspiration, step outside! « Quiet Solo Pursuits

  8. I love female cardinals in the snow. Man, that juvenile is a mess! Funny!

    February 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm