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Male cardinals have vibrant red feathers, while females are fawn-colored with red accents. Both equally adored.
Abundant in East, Midwest, and Southwest. Non-migratory. Found in various habitats. Thrive in towns and suburbs. Expanding northward.
Male cardinals primarily sing, but females also sing. Both sexes use songs to communicate and bond.
Use a tube feeder with black oil sunflower or safflower seeds to attract cardinals quickly. They also feed on platforms or the ground.
Cardinals nest early in evergreens, having multiple broods each year. Their adaptability makes them vulnerable to predators.
Thick cover like hedgerows and shrubby stands create ideal habitat for cardinals. Planting dense trees and shrubs like box elder and wild grapevine benefits nesting.
Male cardinals' bright red coloration is linked to their diet of carotenoid-rich fruits, enhancing their attractiveness to mates and indicating better territories, parental care, and nesting success.
Xanthochroism can turn cardinals yellow, while leucism can result in white individuals and other unique color variations.
The source of the cardinal’s name may not be as obvious today, but in the 1600s and 1700s it was a well-known reference to the red garments worn by cardinals of the Catholic clergy.
Owning cardinals as pets was once legal due to their popularity for their color and sweet songs, but it is now prohibited by law.