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A Northern Cardinal in my backyard in northeast Iowa. USA
Image taken with my Canon PowerShot SX30 IS.
Best viewed large.

Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CARDINALIDAE

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.

Size & Shape
The Northern Cardinal is a fairly large, long-tailed songbird with a short, very thick bill and a prominent crest. Cardinals often sit with a hunched-over posture and with the tail pointed straight down.

Color Pattern
Male cardinals are brilliant red all over, with a reddish bill and black face immediately around the bill. Females are pale brown overall with warm reddish tinges in the wings, tail, and crest. They have the same black face and red-orange bill.

Behavior
Northern Cardinals tend to sit low in shrubs and trees or forage on or near the ground, often in pairs. They are common at bird feeders but may be inconspicuous away from them, at least until you learn their loud, metallic chip note.

Habitat
Look for Northern Cardinals in inhabited areas such as backyards, parks, woodlots, and shrubby forest edges. Northern Cardinals nest in dense tangles of shrubs and vines.

Tags

cardinals, birds

Hello! I am a wife, mother, worship leader and piano teacher. Photography is a new passion of mine. I also enjoy singing, playing the piano & flute, bicycling and the theatre! Thank you for all your kindness and support here. God bless you!

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Comments

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeabout 2 years ago

  • You’re welcome!! Thanks!!

    – lorilee

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelabout 2 years ago

    fabulous shot

  • Thank you very much!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • barnsis
    barnsisabout 2 years ago

    Beautiful Lori, love the pose.

  • Thank you, Byron & Julie!! :o)

    – lorilee

  • missmoneypenny
    missmoneypennyabout 2 years ago

    Gorgeous capture Lori

  • Thanks, Chris!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • Angelika Sielken
    Angelika Sielkenabout 2 years ago

    I’m learning to " shoot" ( heavens forbid) this tiny creatures and I know how hard it is unless the just fly into the composition, lol, so I truly appreciate a good birdie photo. Now this one is super Lori:)

  • Thank you so much, Angelika!! You’re very kind!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • Rocksygal52
    Rocksygal52about 2 years ago

    Beautiful capture Lorilee, these are just stunning little birds.

    Cheers Jude xx

  • Thank you, Jude!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedleabout 2 years ago

    Great capture!

  • Thanks, Rick!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotabout 2 years ago

    A real beauty, Lori!

  • Thank you so much, Dot!!

    – lorilee

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...about 2 years ago


    22 April 2012 – 1 image per 24hrs

  • You’re welcome!! Thank you!!

    – lorilee

  • SharonD
    SharonDabout 2 years ago

    Beautiful bird and shot Lori.

  • Thank you so much, Sharon!!

    – lorilee

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