The Northern Cardinal

Species: Cardinalis cardinalis                     Order: Passeriformes

Chrissy Bowker of Texas asks, “What’s this animal?”

The bird in the picture above is none other than a young Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis. This one in particular is very young, presumably a recent fledgling from the nest. Hatchlings leave the nest about 10 days after hatching and look similar in coloration to adult females, with the exception of having a dull colored beak. The Northern Cardinal is a primarily granivorous (though they will eat insects), passerine bird thats range extends from Canada, the eastern half of the US, down to Texas, and parts of Mexico. Its most identifiable characteristics are its vibrant red coloration in males, black mask, visible crest, and its notable cheer-cheer-cheer song. It’s primarily a woodland bird and a common backyard bird. Fun Fact: They used to be a popular caged pet until the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was put into effect.

Listen to a Northern Cardinal call and song here:



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