The male Northern Cardinal is perhaps responsible for getting more people to open up a field guide than any other bird. They’re a perfect combination of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off. Even the brown females sport a sharp crest and warm red accents. Cardinals don’t migrate and they don’t molt into a dull plumage, so they’re still breathtaking in winter’s snowy backyards. In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first sounds of the morning.
- Cardinals prefer to face their food while eating. If you are using a tube feeder add a seed catching tray for better results.
- Their favourite seeds are safflower and black oil sunflower. Straight safflower is great because it will also deter squirrels!
- Cardinals love birdbaths, the water level should be 2-3 inches at the deepest part.
- Cardinals prefer dense coverage such as large shrubs, thick vines, and evergreen trees.
- Cardinals will hatch up to 4 broods in one season. The male tends the one while the female starts the next brood.
- The male cardinal is very defensive; it will spend hours fighting its reflection in windows. Putting window silhouettes on reflective surfaces can fix this problem.
- Cardinals can live up to 15 years in the wild.