The cardinal is the only red bird in eastern North America with
a crest on top of his or her head, which rises when the bird senses
danger. Cardinals are not migratory and stay in the same area year-round.
They form winter flocks with up to 60-70 birds. They eat many pest
insects and disperse seeds. Male cardinals are very territorial and
will defend their territories vigorously, sometimes attacking their
own reflections or other objects reflected in glass surfaces, mistaking
them for another male. They are admired as attractive songbirds and
biologists have observed that some cardinal songs are sung with accents.
||3-9 years, record 15 years
|Omnivore. Mostly seeds and fruit, also insects.
|Predators and Threats
|Owls, hawks, foxes, cats, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and cowbirds; competition for nesting sites from house wrens, catbirds, English sparrows and crows.
|Forest edges, parks, thickets, brushy swamps, and residential areas with shrubs and low trees; central northern United States, northeastern US south to the Gulf Coast, and some southwestern states through Mexico.