Northern Cardinal

(Cardinalis cardinalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Northern Cardinal

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common year-round resident

Habitat

Thickets and shrubs along woodland edges, parks, suburban back yards

Size

7½ to 9¼ in length

12 wingspan


Identification

This is one of the most widely recognized birds in North America.

 
Voice

The song of both males and females is a series of clear, bubbly notes that have been describes as woit, woit, woit, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew or pichew, pichew, tiw, tiw, tiw, tiw, tiw (Sibley); and cheer, cheer, cheer or birdie, birdie, birdie (Cornell Lab of Ornithology). It is a learned song and varies by region.

In the spring a male seeking to attract a female gives an inspiring vocal performance that must be listened to for several minutes to be fully appreciated. It begins with a series of just five or six notes; woit, woit, chew, chew, chew. After a pause of few seconds the series is repeated, increasing the number of chew notes usually by just one. This continues for several minutes, each time the series increasing usually by just a single note. The series will often get to 18 to 20 chew notes. One series I counted reached 24. You do not have to be a female Northern Cardinal to be impressed by such a performance. I have yet to hear a recording or read an account of this extended series of calls.

 
Similar
Species

 


Food

 

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

 


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Passeriformes (perching birds)

 
Subordinate Taxa

Arizona Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis superbus)

Cozumel Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis saturatus)

Florida Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis floridanus)

Gray-tailed Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis canicaudus)

Long-crested Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis carneus)

Louisiana Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis magnirostris)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis affinis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis clintoni)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis coccineus)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis flammiger)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis littoralis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis mariae)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis phillipsi)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis sinaloensis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis townsendi)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis yucatanicus)

San Lucas Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis igneus)

Santa Gertrudis Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis seftoni)

 
Synonyms

 

 

Family:

Cardinalidae (cardinal, grosbeaks, and relatives)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this bird.

Margot Avey


  Northern Cardinal    

Richard Thrasher


male cardnial at feeder

  Northern Cardinal    

Wayne Rasmussen


  Northern Cardinal    
       

Cardinals are ever present in Maplewood Hts Park in Ramsey County, but difficult to photograph

  Northern Cardinal   Northern Cardinal
       
  Northern Cardinal    

Tom Baker


  Northern Cardinal   Northern Cardinal
       
  Northern Cardinal   Northern Cardinal

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Male

  Northern Cardinal    
       

Juvenile Male

  Northern Cardinal    
       

Female

  Northern Cardinal   Northern Cardinal
       
       

 

Camera

 

     

Slideshows

   
  Northern Cardinal
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Northern Cardinal  
     
  Cardinals
jt893x
 
  Cardinals  
     
  Northern Cardinal
Craig A. Mullenbach
 
  Northern Cardinal  
     
  Birding by Ear: Northern Cardinal Song
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 24, 2010

Macaulay Library Curator, Greg Budney, talks about the brilliant song of the Northern Cardinal.

Learn more about the Northern Cardinal on All About Birds: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_cardinal/id.

 
     
  Northern Cardinal 2008
petersonfieldguides
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 23, 2009

A serious contender for the title of "Most Brilliant Backyard Bird," the Northern Cardinal is on just about everyone's list of favorite birds.

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this bird.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Northern Cardinal Portrait
ebirdr
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 13, 2012

The Northern Cardinal is common in eastern United States and just enters southeastern Canada. It is the state bird for Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. It is found in thickets, suburban areas, gardens and at feeders. As this video show, although the Cardinal is a beautiful bird it also has an ugly side. When it's moulting it's pretty revolting. It looks very prehiistoric, like something right out of Jurassic Park..

It is crested with a stout red bill. The male is red overall with a black face. The female is buffy-brown or buffy-olive overall with red in its wings, tail, and crest.

These birds are nonmigratory. They add color and sound to a winter scene.

Both sexes sing throughout the year giving such short whistles as "purty purty purty" and a sharp metallic "chink" call.

 
     
  HD Northern cardinals feeding baby birds 1080
FrontYardVideo
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 9, 2011

Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) bird parents feeding bugs to chicks and cleaning up the poop to keep the nest clean

 
     
  Northern Cardinal - HD Mini-Documentary
James Knott
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 6, 2009

Mini-documentary about the Northern Cardinal. It's song look and habitat.

Transcription: "With a crested head, black mask around its eyes and brilliant red body, the Northern Cardinal is one of the most famous birds in North America.

It is a mid-sized songbird that lives in wooded areas and has a distinct orange beak shaped perfectly for eating seeds which make up the majority of its diet.

The Northern Cardinal does not migrate. It is a year-round resident whose range extends from southern Canada to Mexico on the eastern half of the continent.

The plumage of the males feathers is much brighter and more vibrant than that of the females it is trying to attract.

It learns its song, so the tune of the cardinal will vary by region.

This beautiful bird is named after the cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church who wore red robes and caps.

It is the state bird in seven states - North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia."

 
     
  Northern Cardinal Singing Close-up Finale with Thunderstorm in HD
my35Xvision
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 27, 2011

Uploaded on Mar 27, 2011

Northern Cardinal Singing Close-up Finale with Thunderstorm in HD

Back to my channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/my35Xvision

Good Morning America WAKE UP!

Early morning song by Northern Cardinal and finale with the Thunderstorm.

Filmed by my35Xvision on 3/26 and 3/23 2011.

Featured:
Northern Cardinal
Thunderstorm

Make sure you subscribe/like/comment/share!

Please visit my channel to view more exciting videos of mine:
http://www.youtube.com/user/my35Xvision

 
     
  Sounds of Spring Northern Cardinal Courtship
Brandy Doyker
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 15, 2013

While the female has softer side...both male and female sing songs of courtship...during this time the male is seen feeding the female...his way of demonstrating he's the one...good provider of food...both female and male feed the babies...in dense shrubs...she builds the nest...it's quite romantic...♥

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this bird.

Margot Avey
8/31/2017

Location: Lake Harriet Gardens, Minneapolis MN

Northern Cardinal

 
John Valo
9/20/2017

Nice photo of a moulting male!


Richard
Thrasher

6/21/2017

Location: Green Isle, MN

male cardnial at feeder

Northern Cardinal


Wayne Rasmussen
7/25/2016

Location: Maplewood Heights Park

Northern Cardinal


Tom Baker
2/25/2012

 

Northern Cardinal


Wayne Rasmussen
5/18/2011

Location: Maplewood Heights Park

Cardinals are ever present in Maplewood Hts Park in Ramsey County, but difficult to photograph

Northern Cardinal


Wayne Rasmussen
5/7/2011

Location: Maplewood Heights Park

Northern Cardinal


Tom Baker
4/2/2011

 

Northern Cardinal


Tom Baker
3/17/2010

 

Northern Cardinal


Tom Baker
11/8/2009

 

Northern Cardinal


Wayne Rasmussen
4/10/2009

Location: Maplewood Heights Park

Northern Cardinal


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

Afton State Park

Avon Hills Forest SNA
North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Beaver Creek Valley State Park

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Boot Lake SNA

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Cannon River Turtle Preserve SNA

Carley State Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Falls Creek SNA

Flandrau State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Frontenac State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hardscrabble Woods / MG Tusler Sanctuary

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Kasota Prairie

Kasota Prairie SNA

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR
Black Dog Preserve Unit
Long Meadow Lake Unit
Rapids Lake Unit

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area
Lawrence Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myre-Big Island State Park

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Ney Nature Center

North Fork Zumbro Woods SNA

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Ottawa Bluffs

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Pilot Knob

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

St. Croix Savanna SNA

Sakatah Lake State Park

Savage Fen SNA

Seminary Fen SNA

Sibley State Park

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Terrace Oaks West

Townsend Woods SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Vermillion Highlands

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wolsfeld Woods SNA

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodland Trails Park


 

 

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