What Does a Cardinal’s Call Sound Like?

Northern cardinals are one of the few bird species with both male and female singers. Learn what a cardinal call sounds like and how cardinals communicate through song.

Did you know? Both male and female cardinals sing! Northern cardinals are one of the few species whose female also sings. A pair of cardinals might even share song phrases, using them to communicate at nesting time. Experts believe the duet strengthens their bond. Listen for pure, repetitive whistling from cardinal pairs. Females sometimes call while on the nest. Males bring food to the females to ensure nesting success. Check out 15 simply stunning photos of cardinals.

Listen to both of the male and female cardinals’ songs and learn about the differences by watching this video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Next, check out the best bird feeders and birdseed for cardinals.

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Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori enjoys growing vegetables and flowers for pollinators in her backyard gardens. She also is an avid bird-watcher.