Nesting Northern Cardinals

cardinalmale

Male Northern Cardinal (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) photographed 07/23/2014 near Palmyra, Michigan.

A few weeks ago my wife and I noticed that a family of Northern Cardinals (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) had taken up residence in a barberry bush (Berberis sp., Berberidaceae) next to our front door. It seemed like an odd place to build a nest, with the door opening and closing and people walking by on a regular basis. Every time we went outside the male would fly over to an adjacent spruce tree and the female would hop up to a higher branch in the bush, and both would watch us intently while chirping back and forth. These birds are relatively aggressive and territorial while nesting.

cardinalfemale2

Female Northern Cardinal (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) photographed 07/23/2014 near Palmyra, Michigan.

In spite of the disturbances the thick, thorny, and tangled branches of the barberry must have presented an irresistibly well-protected location for raising young. Before long their eggs hatched and I got a decent look at one of the chicks, mohawk and all:

cardinalfledgling

Young Northern Cardinal (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae: Cardinalis cardinalis) photographed 07/23/2014 near Palmyra, Michigan.

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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 Nesting Northern Cardinals

  1. ~Felicia~ says:

    Beautiful lil fellaz.
    ~~~F

    Like

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