Bird Watcher's General Store

*Bird Watcher's General Store*

*A Few Things About Cardinals - 04/06/01*

**Dear Bird Folks,*

What is the average life expectancy of a cardinal? Do they mate for life?
If one dies, does the surviving one take another mate?

- Dorothy, USA

*Whoa Dorothy,*

You sure are asking for a lot of info. What do you think this is, "20
questions?" You people from the "USA" sure are demanding. Below is probably
more information than you really wanted to know about cardinals. So read
this carefully, somewhere in this long diatribe you are bound to find the
answers to your lengthy list of questions.

Believe it or not, the Northern Cardinal is a fairly new bird to the Cape
Cod area. It's hard to imagine the Cape not having cardinals, but the first
pair did not nest in Massachusetts until 1958. The Cardinal is really a
Southern bird where, for years, Southerners referred to the Cardinal simply
as "the red bird." However, McCarthyism and the red scare, plus a class
action suit by a group of scarlet tanagers, put an end to most of that. In
recent years, the Cardinal has been expanding its range north. I'm sure
bird feeders have contributed to this expansion, but our suburban yards,
with their plantings of shrubs and bushes, have probably done the most to
help the Cardinals.

Back in the 1800's, Cardinals were trapped by the thousands and shipped
overseas to be sold in cages as pets. Fortunately, that practice has been
outlawed and our Cardinals were saved. Now, instead, we trap birds from
foreign countries and keep their birds in cages in this country.

One of the reasons that we like Cardinals so much is that it's easy to tell
the sexes apart


do cardinals mate for life

Northern Cardinal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Northern Cardinal **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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/"Red Cardinal" redirects here. For the plant/ Erythrina herbacea/,
see Coral Bean./

Northern Cardinal

Male in Ohio, USA

Female lacks the vivid red color
Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)^[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: /Cardinalis/
Species: /*C. cardinalis*/
Binomial name
*/Cardinalis cardinalis/*
(Linnaeus, 1758)

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, shrublands, 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. It was once prized as a pet, but its sale as a cage bird is now
banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.


· 1 Taxonomy

· 1.1 Subspecies

· 2 Description
· 3 Distribution and habitat
· 4 Ecology

· 4.1 Song
· 4.2 Predators
· 4.3 Diet
· 4.4 Reproduction



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