Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinals (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) can be found throughout the year from southeast Canada through Mexico. Cardinals are probably one of the most-recognized and best-loved songbirds, and have earned state bird recognition in seven states. 

cardinalmale

Male Northern Cardinal (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) photographed 05/05/2013 at Pinckney State Recreation Area near Chelsea, Michigan.

Although male cardinals (above) sport the bright red plumage that makes these birds so striking, the females look rather beautiful as well:

cardinalfemale

Female Northern Cardinal (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) photographed 05/05/2013 at Pinckney State Recreation Area near Chelsea, Michigan.

In the spring these birds experience elevated hormone levels while breeding, making them highly aggressive and eager to defend their territory from other cardinals. Both sexes are even known to attack their reflections in windows, something my wife witnessed the other day. A female flew at our bathroom window for about ten minutes before giving up on her imaginary adversary.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Northern Cardinal

  1. Yes…it is all about the hormones… Michelle

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