Northern Cardinal (Male)
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – NORTH MIAMI, FL
This photography of a Northern Cardinal (Male), was taken at one of my birdfeeders in North Miami, Florida. The camera gear used in this Northern Cardinal photo was a Nikon D90 attached to a Nikkor 60mm lens, and a Tamron 2x tele-converter..
This is a beautiful bird with red plumage and a crested top, commonly found throughout the United States. For anyone with a backyard, think about putting up a birdfeeder or two, and enjoy nature right outside your home. I’m certain you will enjoy watching them.
Interesting facts of the Northern Cardinal
1. Northern Cardinals are non-migratory birds that are attracted to bird houses and feeders especially those that have a good food supply.
2. Northern Cardinals gather in large flocks of about 70 birds during winter time and they often build their nest in bushy thickets.
3. When the female Cardinal sings from the nest, it may be a sign to the male that she is in need of food.
4. Both male and female Cardinals sing but the female normally sings longer and in a more complex melody than that of the male.
5. The male Northern Cardinal is the defender of their breeding area. In fact, it can spend long hours fighting his reflection he sees in glass surfaces. The brighter red cardinal males prefer territories in thick vegetation, they feed at faster rates and are more successful in reproducing.
6. The young Northern Cardinals often go hungry as they defecate after every feeding. After defecating, the parent bird usually takes away the fecal sac and brings it far away from the nest to hide their location from predators.
7. The Northern Cardinal is considered as the only red bird with a crest in the entire United States.
8. Its family was given the name cardinal as the bright red color of the male species is very similar to the vestments used by Catholic cardinals.
9. Northern Cardinals are one of the favorite backyard birds in North America because they frequently visit backyards with feeders and bird houses.
10. These songbirds are a picture of sweetness especially when mate feeding. During this time, the male Northern Cardinal looks for food, and feeds the female by putting the food into its mate’s bill as if kissing each other.
11. Northern Cardinals were once quite popular in the 1800’s as cage birds. This was mostly because of their bright red color and their capacity to sing different songs.
12. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act which was passed in 1918 protects the Northern Cardinals and has prohibited their sale.
13. Northern Cardinals are also known as red birds and Virginia nightingales.
14. A study has shown that Northern Cardinals eat 51 kinds of beetles, four types of grasshoppers, termites, ants, flies, dragonflies and 12 kinds of homoptera which includes leaf hoppers, cicadas and aphids.
15. Cardinals found in the wild can live up to 15 years as confirmed by banding studies.