For many birdwatchers in North America, the Northern Cardinal is a familiar sight. Its bright red plumage and black mask, as well as its cheerful song, make the cardinal one of the most easily identifiable birds in the United States.
Only adult males achieve the bright red color. Females have dull, red-brown feathers, but can be identified by their cheerful orange beaks, and the traces of red in their wing and tail feathers.
In the wild, cardinals eat weed seeds, grains, and fruits, although they may sometimes eat bugs, berries, and corn. If you live in the cardinal’s range and would like to try attracting some to your yard, try putting out sunflower seeds, cracked corn, or apples.
Remember to use a broad, sturdy surface, since cardinals normally hop around on the ground to find their food. Cardinals do not follow a yearly migration pattern like many other birds, so you may be able to attract them all year round.
The cardinal is the official state bird of 7 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia, making it the most popular state bird in the country. I hope you enjoyed learning about the cardinal, and good luck finding it in your yard.