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Northern Cardinal

Northern Flicker
Northern Bobwhite

About the Northern Cardinal

Also known as: Red Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a member of the cardinal family of birds in North America. The bird's name comes from the red-robed Roman Catholic Cardinals. Its crested head is also said to resemble a bishop's mitre. Cardinals have been also referred to as redbirds and Virginia nightingales. They have loud voices and one song in their repertoire is said to sound like What cheer! Cheer, cheer, cheer!

Cardinals are abundant across the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and in Canada in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Their range extends west to the U.S.-Mexico border and south through Mexico to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, northern Guatemala, and northern Belize. They were introduced to Bermuda in 1700. They have also been introduced in Hawaii, and Southern California. Their natural habitats are woodlands, suburbs, gardens, swamps and thickets.

It is the state bird of North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 15 September 2006
Scientific Name Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Passeriformes
  • Cardinalidae
  • Cardinalis
  • C. cardinalis
Birdorable Family Tanagers, Buntings & Cardinals
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 25 January 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
8.3 to 9 inches
Range North America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • 主红雀 (Chinese)
  • Kardinál červený (Czech)
  • Rød Kardinal (Danish)
  • Kardinaal (Dutch)
  • Punakardinaali (Finnish)
  • Cardinal Rouge (French)
  • Rotkardinal (German)
  • Cardinale rosso (Italian)
  • ショウジョウコウカンチョウ (Shoujoukoukanchou) (Japanese)
  • Röd Kardinal (Norwegian)
  • Kardynał szkarłatny (Polish)
  • Красный кардинал (Russian)
  • Cardenal (Spanish)
  • Rødkardinal (Swedish)

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