The Northern Cardinal is a favorite among many people. During the winter especially, the bright red males stand out against a stark background and barren trees. They are especially beautiful against a white, snowy background. Hint, hint, if you have photos like that, please share. Cardinals don’t migrate, and they don’t molt into a dull color, so birders can enjoy seeing them year round. The males are marked by bright red feathers and a black mask around the face. The females are reddish brown with a gray mask.
The Northern Cardinal is so well liked, it’s the state bird of seven states. That’s more than any other bird can boast. Those states include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Northern Cardinal can be found in southern Canada and in the United States as well as Mexico. It makes its home in gardens, woodlands, and swamps and can be found from Maine to Texas all along the eastern part of the country. The Northern Cardinal is also sometimes referred to as the Common Cardinal.
If you enjoy feeding birds, you’ve probably noticed the territorial tendency of the male cardinals. But, during the mating season, the males are also quite giving. You’ve probably seen them feeding their female partner beak to beak right out at the feeder. Cardinals usually eat grains, and they love Safflower Seeds. But, they will also eat insects and fruit.
The name Cardinal refers to the Roman Catholic cardinals who wore bright red robes and caps. At one time, the cardinal was a popular pet. But, in 1918 it became illegal to cage a cardinal.
Cole’s selected the Northern Cardinal as the January Bird of the Month after a suggestion from Facebook friend, Michele Spence. Michele thanks for the tip. We welcome input from our Cole’s customers and appreciate the feedback on Facebook.
Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area.