Northern Cardinal

Male and Female Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
(Cardinalis cardinalis)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Cardinalidae

Photo © Steve Byland

Northern Cardinal Information

Length:  7.5 - 9"

Habitat:  Forest edges; thickets; shrubby swamps; residential areas with dense shrubbery. Dense underbrush is a habitat requirement.

Diet:  Weed seeds; waste grain; insects and spiders; snails and slugs; wild fruits and berries.

  Songs and calls of the Northern Cardinal

  Photo of Northern Cardinal at Nest

Additional Information

Northern Cardinal
Photos, range, habitat, description, reproduction, lifespan, behavior, communication, food habits, predation, and conservation status. (From Animal Diversity Web)

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

© R. Hambley | Dreamstime

  More Winter Feeder Birds

Northern Cardinal
Identification Tips

General Information

  • Large, conical bill
  • Crest
  • Long tail
  • Adult male

  • Bright red plumage, dullest on back and wings
  • Black around base of bill
  • Red bill
  • Adult female

  • Reddish crest, wings and tail
  • Brownish-gray upperparts
  • Buffy underparts
  • Red bill
  • (Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

    Breeding Bird Survey Map,

    Northern Cardinal BBS Map

    (Image credit: USGS)

    Winter Map from eBird

    Sightings of Northern Cardinal
    Nov-Mar over last 10 years

    Christmas Bird Count Map
    Historical CBC Map from USGS