Northern cardinals

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).

Cardinalis means important. Cardinals are important to my happiness, that’s for sure.


Cardinals coexist with other ground feeders without problem in winter. In the photos above, both a male and a female cardinal are ground feeding with a dark-eyed junco and a mourning dove. In spring they become territorial so far as other cardinals are concerned. Both males and females sing and have a territorial call in the spring. I like to think that my cardinals think that my garden is their garden.


While males are red, females are brown with tinges of red and a large red bill. Juveniles are also brown but with a blackish gray bill.


Cardinals aren’t exactly shy. It’s more that they look things over before they make a move. They often seem to be looking straight at me when I am looking at them. Watching them watching me.

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