This popular and abundant North American backyard bird is the state bird of seven US states – Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia!
The Northern Cardinal does not migrate and is a favorite resident of the woodlands, parks and backyards in the Southeastern US, Mexico, and certain Midwestern states. They have even been extending their range northward into parts of Canada.
Male cardinals have the iconic striking red plumage, while the females have duller, but still beautiful, tan plumage with hints of red in the wings, tail and crest. They weigh around 1.5-1.8 ounces (42.5-51 grams)
Cardinals feed upon seeds, berries and insects. At bird feeders, they seem especially fond of sunflower seeds.
Cardinals form monogamous pairs during the breeding season. They often nest in shrubs where the female usually lays three eggs. Male cardinals can be quite aggressive when defending their territory and will attack other males. This sometimes leads them to fly into glass windows to ward off an “intruder” that’s really just their own reflection.