It is named a named "cardinal" after the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, who wear distinctive red robes and caps.
They are native to the near arctic region.
They are found throughout eastern and central North America from southern Canada into parts of Mexico and Central America.
In spring this romantic male bird courts his future mate by feeding her seeds.
When the female agrees to become his mate they sing to each other.
During courtship they may also participate in a bonding behavior where the male collects food and brings it to the female, feeding her beak-to-beak.
If the mating is successful, this mate feeding may continue throughout the period of egg incubation.
Mated pairs often travel together.
The Northern Cardinal is a territorial songbird.
The male sings in a loud, clear whistle from the top of a tree or another high location to defend his territory.
He will chase off other males entering his territory.
The Northern Cardinal learns its songs, and as a result the songs vary regionally.
It is able to easily distinguish the sex of another singing Northern Cardinal by its song alone.
Both sexes sing clear, whistled song patterns, which are repeated several times, then varied.
Some common phrases are described as purdy, purdy, purdy...
whoit, whoit, whoit, whoit and what-cheer, what-cheer...
wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet'.
They has a distinctive alarm call, a short metallic 'chip' sound.
This call often is given when predators approach the nest, in order to give warning to the female and nestlings.
In some cases it will also utter a series of chipping notes.
The frequency and volume of these notes increases as the threat becomes greater.
Northern Cardinals are preyed upon by Cooper's Hawks, Loggerhead Shrikes, Northern Shrikes, Eastern gray squirrels, Long-eared Owls and Eastern Screech Owls.
Predators of chicks and eggs include milk snakes, coluber constrictors, Blue Jays, fox squirrels, red squirrels and eastern chipmunks.
The adult Cardinal's diet consists of weed seed, grains, insect snail berry and fruits eaters.
It eats beetles, cicadas, grasshoppers, snails, wild fruit and berries, corn and oats, sunflower seeds and the blossoms and bark of elm trees,.
Cardinals drinks maple sap from holes made by sapsuckers.
The cardinal is a ground feeder and finds food while hopping on the ground through trees or shrubbery.
During the summer months, it shows preference for seeds that are easily husked, but is less selective during winter, when food is scarce.
Northern Cardinals feed their young almost exclusively on insects.
You can do a lot to help Northern Cardinal flourish: 1.
Create nesting habitat near edges of woods, hedgerows, and vegetation around houses..
Install pole feeders high enough so preying animals cannot reach it.
Garden to attract cardinals and other songbirds year around by including these flowering plants: sunflowers, delphinium, daisies.
heliopsis, liatris, penstamon, bee balm, goldenrod, purple coneflower, tickseed, phlox, coneflower, cosmos, spider flower, aster, four o'clock, bachelor's button, phlox and snapdragon.
These flowering plants produce seeds that attract and feed songbirds throughout the spring and summermonths.