Article and photos by Charly Mann
This male Northern Cardinal was happy to pose for me
I have a multi-generation family of six Northern Cardinals in my backyard that have been with me for more than seven years. The oldest male often comes up to me on my back patio to bring me a seed.
This Northern Cardinal is enjoying a mulberry in my front yard
Northern Cardinals do not migrate, staying in the same area year round.
Juvenille Northern Cardinal in my backyard
Cardinals live between three and ten years on average, though some have lived for more than fifteen years in the wild.
Adult Northern Cardinals weigh around one and a half ounces. They are about 9 inches in length, and have a wingspan between 10 and 12 inches.
Northern Cardinal up-close in Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Male Cardinals are bright red, while female Cardinals are buff-brown with a red tinge on their crest, wings and tail. Both have orange bills and black faces.
The brighter the red of a male Northern Cardinal, the larger territory it dominates and the more offspring it is responsible for.
This Northern Cardinal often shares this branch in the Spring and Summer with a Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The Northern Cardinal is the state bird of North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia. The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is the state bird of Oklahoma,
While the Northern Cardinal is found throughout The United States, it may soon disappear in California because of loss of habitat.