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WHAT ARE CARDINALS?


The Northern Cardinal is a very popular North American bird, seen by lots of birdwatchers. The Northern Cardinal is not a migratory bird. This bird tends to make its home on the edges of woods, hedgerows, and in vegetation around houses.



Cardinals love to eat sunflower seeds, and are commonly encouraged to live near houses by people placing sunflower seed feeders in their front and back yards. When sunflower seeds arenít available, Cardinals will eat weed seeds, grains, insects, and fruits. Cardinals also have a very distinct and beautiful call consisting of varied whistled notes that are often described as sounding like 'cheer-cheer-cheer' or 'purty-purty-purty.' This call has placed the Cardinal under the title of 'song-bird.'














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Cardinals are generally attracted to a wide range of plants, both for cover and for food. If you wish to attract Cardinals to your yard it is important to have a lot of plants, vines and shrubs, such as American Bittersweet, Raspberry, Sumac, Conifers, American arborvitae, and Hawthorn to name just a few. They are also very attracted to winter and fall fruits. You should also provide water for bathing and drinking. The addition of water will also encourage them to start nesting in your yard. The Northern Cardinal is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 22 centimeters, eight and a half inches, in length from beak-tip to tail-tip. Males are usually a bright red with a black mask on the face. Females tend to be a glossy brown or olive color that is tinged red on the tail, wings, and crest. The female lacks the black mask donned by the male, but parts of the face may be dark. Both sexes have distinctive crest atop their head and a thick, pointed bill, which begins black as a fledgling and then turns a reddish color with age.

 

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