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Northern cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

By: Garden Gate staff
Cardinals are one of the most popular birds for backyard feeders. Learn what their favorite food is and other fascinating facts.

Northern cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

These cheerful red birds are native to the eastern part of the United States and Canada but their range is increasing. Did you know…

  • An adult male cardinal is bright red, while the adult female is brown.

  • Once cardinals mate, it’s for life. Generally, one of the pair keeps a lookout while the other feeds.

  • In spring, the female lays three to four brown-speckled, gray-green eggs that hatch within two weeks.

  • They love unhulled black oil sunflower seeds. They’ll also eat safflower seed and bread crumbs.

  • Cardinals appreciate a year-round source of water. A heated birdbath provides a winter watering spot.

Published: Dec. 20, 2011
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