Nothern Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalis

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  • Nothern Cardinal | Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) in Shenandoah National Park. Photo: NPS
  • Nothern Cardinal | Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) in Shenandoah National Park. Photo: NPS
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Basic Information

Order

Passeriformes

Family

Cardinalidae

Size

8.25-9.25 in

Lifespan

up 15 years

Weight

1.5-1.75 oz

Diet

Herbivore

Behavior

Ground Forager

Range

Midwest - Eastern U.S., Southwest

Nest Placement

Shrub

Number of Offspring

2-5 Eggs

Egg Description

Off white often with pale grayish brown specks

Condition at Hatching

Helpless, eyes closed, naked

Social Status

Mixed Flocks

Wingspan

9.75-12.25 in

What does the Nothern Cardinal look like?

Northern Cardinals are medium sized songbirds. They have long tails, thick conical red bills and pink legs. Males are a brilliant red overall with a black bandit makes on their faces. Females are less showy; they have an overall light brown with reddish hues on their wings, tails and crests. Males tend to be slightly larger than females and both sexes have pointed crests on their heads.

Nothern Cardinal Habitat

Open Forests

Nothern Cardinal Facts

Northern Cardinals are primarily herbivores, eating mainly seeds and grains. They will however occasionally enjoy an insect snack. Unlike most songbirds, female cardinals sing songs as well. Both male and females fiercely defend territory, especially during breeding season. Strikingly beautiful, the North Cardinal is the state bird of seven states. They often fall victim to birds of prey.

See also