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Northern Cardinal (B236)

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Photo ID: B236

Keywords: bird, birds, cardinal, Northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, Tennessee

On a trip to Tennessee we were delighted to see these beautiful cardinals standing out conspicuously everywhere. The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) or Redbird is a North American bird in the cardinal family. It is found from southern Canada through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and south through Mexico to northern Guatemala and Belize. It can also be found on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is found in woodlands, gardens, shrublands, and swamps. The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 2123 centimeters (8.39 in). It has a distinctive crest on the head and a mask on the face which is black in the male and gray in the female. It displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration; the male is a vibrant red, while the female is a dull red-brown shade. The Northern Cardinal is mainly granivorous, but also feeds on insects and fruit. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four clutches are produced each year. It was once prized as a pet, but its sale as cage birds is now banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.


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