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Bird Songs and Sounds
Bird calls and sounds can be a great way to identify if certain birds are nearby or what activities they may be up to. Click the icon to hear some audio clips of the northern cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalis

Species Spotlight

Northern cardinals live in the same range their entire lives, so you may be able to help the same birds year after year. It is a non-migratory species that spends its whole life in a specific area. For those cardinals that reside in western PA, winter can mean a scarcity of food. To help this spotlight species you can offer feed in late fall to early spring. Providing a reliable food source when natural sources can be scarce can increase survivability over the colder months.

Habitat

Frequents woodland edges, thickets, suburban gardens, towns and desert washes. Found in a wide variety of brushy or semi-open habitats in the East, from forest clearings and swamps to city parks, almost wherever there are some dense bushes for nesting. In the Southwest, more local; occurs in tall brush, streamside thickets, groves of mesquites in desert.

Wild Feeding Behavior
Omnivorous, mostly feeds on seeds, insects, and berries hopping along the ground or sometimes in trees. It will eat nearly any insect that crosses its path, but waste grain, fruit, seeds, and berries make up most of its diet.

Nesting Habits
Nest in well hidden dense shrubs, vines or low trees 3-10' above ground. The nest is built by the female. It consists of twigs, weeds, leaves and bark strips, lined with fine grass or hair in an open cup shape.

Eggs and Young
Pairs have 2-5 eggs incubated by the female for 12-13 days. Both parents feed the chicks after hatching. The young fledge about 9-11 days after hatching and the male may feed them while the female begins the next nesting attempt. Cardinals may nest multiple times having 2-3 and sometimes 4 broods a year.

Range
Common throughout the eastern half of the US from South Dakota to Mexico, east to Florida, and north to Maine, and sometimes Canada. Also in small habitats of southern California.

Preferred Feeds
Safflower seeds, black oil sunflower seeds.

Preferred Feeders
Large platform, large cylinder.

Feed and Feeders
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All Seasons - Common


All Seasons - Uncommon


Breeding - Common


Breeding - Uncommon


Winter - Common


Winter - Uncommon

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