By Dan Weisz
The Northern Cardinal is likely the most recognizable bird in the United States. They look familiar, are conspicuous, and have style! You can’t miss them or be not be ‘wowed’ by them. Seven States list the Cardinal as their state bird. If you have a bird feeder in your backyard in the Foothills, you are likely to see them regularly.
This weekend one pair spent a lot of time in the cholla plant in the back in between grabbing sunflower seeds from my feeder. The male below looks very special and seemed to be checking me out throughout his visit.
Male Cardinals are bright red with a black mask and throat. They are large, long-tailed songbirds with a short, thick, orange bill and a prominent crest which they can raise or lower. Generally the crest is raised when they are agitated and lowered when at rest.
Cardinals eat mainly seeds and fruit but they also supplement their diet with insects, a primary food source for nestlings.
You can listen to several Cardinal songs on this page: