About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, January 30, 2017

#GBBC: The Northern Cardinal

Get to know the Northern Cardinal before The Great Backyard Birdcount (#GBBC)

Except for a black mask and throat, the male Northern Cardinals are red all over including their bill. The females are less recognizable. They are shaped like the male but are a duller grey brown color and have only warm red accents on the tips of their crest, wings and bill.

Cardinals are a delightful year-round resident in mid-Michigan and prefer tangled shrubby bushes and evergreens in yards with feeders. They form faithful pair bonds, and will visit feeders together commonly in the early morning and evening. Both birds sing to one another throughout the seasons with soft, bubbly whistles and when females incubate eggs in the spring the she keeps in contact with the male by singing on the nest, to inform her partner whether or not she and the young need food. So if you see the bright red male cardinal, look and listen for the "chip, chip, chip" of the less conspicuous female cardinal.

Cardinals prefer to feed on the ground so if you can "raise the ground" by feeding cardinals on tray feeders, hopper feeders or any feeder that gives them a comfortable feeding position they'll be happy. Their favorite food is oil sunflower, nuts, safflower and fruit. Wild Birds Unlimited has a wide variety of cardinal friendly feeders.

Related Articles:
- Northern Cardinal Fun Facts http://bit.ly/twE6NV 
- How the Northern Cardinal bird was named http://bit.ly/tSKZYs 
- Cardinal Bird Feeders Made in the USA: http://bit.ly/qXJPFM 
- How to Attract Cardinals: http://bit.ly/pjh7mO 
- What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/rAArXw 
- What are the different types of cardinal birds? http://goo.gl/CUI43

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