The Northern Cardinal is an easily-spotted red bird from the eastern USA. It has also been introduced to Hawaii. The cardinal was named by early American settlers, after Catholic cardinals who dress in bright red robes. These birds are strongly territorial and have a loud, whistling song.
Anatomy: The Northern Cardinal is 8-9 inches (20.5-23 cm) long and has a wingspread of 10 -12 inches (25-31 cm). It weighs from 1 to 2 ounces (28-57 gm). It has a short, wide bill. Males have brilliant red feathers, a tall head crest, a wide, red bill, and a black face. Females and juveniles are gray-olive above and paler below, with some deep red on the crest, wings, and tail, and a bright pink-to-orange bill.
Diet: Cardinals eat seeds, insects, snails, and maple sap.
Nest and Eggs: The Cardinal's nests are bowl-like and made from grass and twigs. Nests are built in bushes. Eggs are whitish with brown and gray marking; females lay 2-5 eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time).