The word Cardinal, which means “principle” comes from the Latin “cardo” for “a hinge or pivot“. This Bird is named for its color, which matches the robes of Catholic Cardinals.
The Northern Cardinal is a favorite of all birders. The male’s vibrant red feathers make him so visible at this time of year as the leaves fall, and will continue to stand out against the snow. Female Cardinals are an olive-brown color with bits of red on her crest, wings, and tail. You will be able to recognize juvenile cardinals whose coloring is like the female, but they will have a black bill rather than the red bill it’s parents have.
The cardinal’s range spans from Manitoba to the East Coast of Canada and down to South Eastern America. The Cardinal doesn’t migrate, so we are able to enjoy them year round.
Cardinals build their nests in thickets or dense shrubs. Their nest consists of twigs and weed stems, grass and leaves. In their northern range, they normally have two broods, laying 3 to 5 eggs. In the Southern range, they may have up to four broods. The eggs are a glossy pale green with small and large dots in shades of brown, gray and purple. The female will incubate the eggs for 12 to 13 days, during which time the male will bring food to the nest for her.
If you would like to attract these birds to your backyard, it’s easy to do. Cardinals prefer to eat from a tray, ground or hopper feeder. The Sky Cafe feeder is great for them as it offers a comfortable tray for perching. They prefer sunflower and safflower seeds as well as peanut halves. These seeds are high in oil and fat which helps them keep warm during the winter months.
Some Interesting facts about Cardinals:
- They mate for life.
- One of the few female songbirds that sing.
- They have many variations of songs and calls.
- The oldest Northern Cardinal ever recorded was 15 years and 9 months old.
Cardinals will attack their own reflection in windows thinking it is another cardinal. This mostly happens during spring mating season when they are defending their territory. The male will constantly batter himself against a window to “scare away” his potential male competitor. Using Window Alerts can help prevent this from happening.
Attract Cardinals with their Preferred Seeds:
Black Oil Sunflower, Sunflower Hearts or Safflower or a mixture of both with some Happy Garden Mix. The Cardinal’s large bill also allows them to crack open the large striped sunflower seeds. Save more seeds with Seed Hoop & UNS Ground Feeder.
Singing & Calls of Cardinals:
Listen to their beautiful song in the early spring as they sing from the treetops.
Happy Birding Everyone!
@Urban Nature Store we have different vareity of feeders, seeds, jewelry, outdoor equipments and holiday gifts for all nature lovers and for all ages.
Bird of the month – Northern Cardinal – check out northern cardinal products
Author – Jane Paradis
Editor – Daniel Oommen