A good friend of Walt's and mine is a woman named Sue who lives in the Sierra Foothills in California. She flew to North Carolina to spend a week there with me in mid-October. We had a busy week trying to see as much as we could of Carteret County, N.C. One of the things that we saw, and that Sue was able to photograph, was this bird called the cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Thanks to Sue for permission to post some of her photos.
Wikipedia reminds me that the "common cardinal" is also known colloquially as the redbird. It lives in eastern North America from Maine to Minnesota, and down to Texas and Florida — as well as in eastern Canada and in Mexico. People used to keep redbirds as pets, but that practice was outlawed in 1918 under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
This redbird is also known as the "northern cardinal" because of its North American range. An adult cardinal weighs about 45 grams (1½ oz.) on average. Its body length is about 22 cm (8 to 9 in.) and its wingspan is 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 cm). The male redbird is crimson red in color, with a black mask around the eyes and down along the throat. The female is mostly mostly grayish-brown with a slight reddish tint on the wings, the crest, and the tail feathers. The cardinal is a territorial songbird
Wikipedia says that the male cardinal "sings in a loud, clear whistle from the top of a tree or another high location to defend his territory. He will chase off other males entering his territory. He may mistake his image on various reflective surfaces as an invading male, and will fight his reflection relentlessly." The redbird's diet consists of seeds, grains, and fruits (90%) as well as insects and snails. The cardinal is the "state bird" of North Carolina and six other U.S. states.
It's our state bird in Ohio, too. And there have always been cardinals everywhere I've lived in Ohio. But I've never taken such good photos of them as Sue did.ReplyDelete
Sue is a very good photographer.Delete
I once saw a cardinal and and oriole on a walk through the cemetery in Walden, MA. My thoughts went to baseball.ReplyDelete
and they mate for life!ReplyDelete
I didn't know that, Melinda!Delete
I have a Cardinal family living in my yard here in New Hampshire. They live in the brambles off our driveway and feast at our feeders. I just posted some of the pictures I have taken of the very handsome male!ReplyDelete
We have quite a few cardinals in and around our yard. They seem to make very different, distinctive sounds at different times of the year, probably based on mating season.ReplyDelete
Because we have so many cardinals in our area in St. Louis, and because our baseball team is named for them, my students were shocked to learn from me the other day, that our state bird is the bluebird LOL. They assumed it was the cardinal, because none of them have ever seen a bluebird (they are all over the countryside, but don't hang out in suburban or urban yards). When I told them that there are no cardinals in France, they were amazed.ReplyDelete
I forgot to mention that there are no cardinals in France. No bluebirds either, though I have some nice photos of bluebirds that Sue took in California. Maybe I'll post them.Delete
There are no roadrunners either in France ;)ReplyDelete
No raccoons, no opossums, no gray squirrels, no armadillos, no American robins, no bluejays, no black bears, and, so far, no Donald Trumps.Delete
Great picture of the cardinal. He's beautiful. We have opossums here in LA and the occasional coyote. chm, my father when he lived in AZ used to buy ground beef to feed to the roadrunners. They loved it.Delete
No Donnie there! How can you be so fortunate?Delete
No hummingbirds either. And no coyotes.Delete
No yellow billed magpies either. They're plentiful at a rest stop near Camp Roberts, Ca.Delete
Cardinals are Kentucky's state bird and the U. of Louisville's mascot. I've never lived anywhere without cardinals. I love winter photos of cardinals and holly. Sue took some nice photos.ReplyDelete
Those beautiful birds are always a highlight of our visits to Ohio.ReplyDelete