Northern Cardinal

Unlike members of most avian species, both male and female Northern cardinals sing. Pairs make a habit of counter-singing, where one begins vocalizing, and then the other replies.

Northern Cardinal

CC Vermillion Northern cardinal, male with nestlings

Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis.
Family: Cardinal.
Length: 9 inches.
Wingspan: 12 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male is bright red with a black face. Also has a prominent crest and pink or orange bill. Female is fawn colored with red accents.
Nest: Three to four whitish-gray eggs with brown speckles are laid in a nest of twigs and grasses hidden in a dense tree or shrub.
Voice: More than 24 different songs. Most common is “What cheer! What cheer! What cheer!” The call is a high-pitched “chip!”
Habitat:  Anyplace with dense low cover: backyards, parks, forest, swamps, even deserts.
Diet: Seeds and insects.
Backyard Favorites: Sunflower seeds and cracked corn.

Listen to the Northern cardinal’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Northern Cardinal Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Photos

Information

Northern Cardinal

CC Vermillion Northern cardinal, male with nestlings

Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis.
Family: Cardinal.
Length: 9 inches.
Wingspan: 12 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male is bright red with a black face. Also has a prominent crest and pink or orange bill. Female is fawn colored with red accents.
Nest: Three to four whitish-gray eggs with brown speckles are laid in a nest of twigs and grasses hidden in a dense tree or shrub.
Voice: More than 24 different songs. Most common is “What cheer! What cheer! What cheer!” The call is a high-pitched “chip!”
Habitat:  Anyplace with dense low cover: backyards, parks, forest, swamps, even deserts.
Diet: Seeds and insects.
Backyard Favorites: Sunflower seeds and cracked corn.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Northern cardinal’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Northern Cardinal Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Submit Your Photos

Do you have a photo of this species? Submit it here to share with the rest of the Birds & Blooms community

Submit >

submit-photos

Add a Comment

From Our Community

Bird Pictures Dec 25th

Good morning and Merry Christmas to all on the birding forum! With the strong winds, not a bird in sight. I'm sure they will come when hungry! A…
Read more >

Seed Question.

I was soaking some seeds before I planted. They were yellow Datura, someone gave me. They have been in fridge since I got them. They all floated on…
Read more >