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Northern Cardinal


Cardinalis cardinalis
Cardinal family (Cardinalidae)

A medium-sized songbird. Crest on head. Male is bright red with black face mask surrounding bill. Female is grayish brown with a reddish bill and pale gray to black face mask.

Habitat:
Forest edges and open areas.

Nesting:
Loosely constructed nest placed in dense shrubs, usually less than 10 feet above the ground. Eggs are buffy white with brown spots. Clutch size – 2 to 3 eggs.

Voice:

Song is a series of clear repeated whistles that vary, like “whoit whoit whoit, cheer cheer cheer.”  All notes are very rich.  Call is a metallic “chip.

Name Origin:

The genus name Cardinalis is from the Latin for “important” from cardo, Latin for “the hinge of a door,” literally something upon which an object or an idea hinges or depends.  A cardinal is an important church official with a red hat and robe, hence the name of the bird with red plumage.

In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. State bird of Indiana. Common in the Nature Park.

Photos: