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Northern Cardinal


Open area at the edge of the forest where there are shrubs and young trees


The male is completely red except for his face and throat which are black. He has a crest that makes him look like he has a mohawk almost all the time! The female is rather beige-yellow with a little red on the wings, tail and crest. The cardinal measures 20 to 23 centimeters with a wingspan of 30 cm and weighs 42 to 48 grams, which is about the weight of a clementine! The cardinal lives an average of 15 years in the wild, but the record is over 28!


The cardinal eats seeds, fruits, buds and insects. It is not uncommon to see him at feeders. The male defends his territory against intruders. He will even attempt to attack his reflection in a mirror as he thinks it's an adversary. It is a partially migratory bird, it stays on its territory all year round or moves just a little, about 100 km.


Cardinals are monogamous.

They can have more than one litter per year. In this case, the male takes care of the first babies while the female builds a new nest.

Only a few female North American songbirds sing, but the female Northern Cardinal does, and often while sitting on the nest.

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