Cardinal family (Cardinalidae)
Small bunting, 4 ½” long. Male (right in image) – may look black or brown unless the sun is shining directly on it; otherwise deep indigo blue. Female (left in image) – brown with faint wing bars and faint streaking.
Forest edges, forests with dense understory vegetation, shrub thickets.
Cup-like nest, placed 1 to 2 feet above the ground (usually about knee-height) in the fork of a shrub, low tree, or a stout herbaceous plant. Eggs are white. Clutch size – 3 to 4 eggs.
A rapid series of paired whistles, like “tsee tsee tew tew teer teer”. Call is a flat “spit”.
Passerina, Latin for “sparrow-like”; cyanea, Greek for “dark blue”.
In the Nature Park:
Neotropical migrant. Abundant in dense understory vegetation in riparian forests along the Creekside Trail. Also occurs in open meadows and forests with dense understory vegetation. Nests in the Nature Park are frequently parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds.