Northern Cardinal

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 15 September 2006
Scientific Name
Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Passeriformes
  • Cardinalidae
  • Cardinalis
  • C. cardinalis
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 5 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
8.3 to 9 inches

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 主红雀
Czech (Cesky) Kardinál červený
Danish (Dansk) Rød Kardinal
Dutch (Nederlands) Kardinaal
Finnish (Suomi) Punakardinaali
French (Français) Cardinal Rouge
German (Deutsch) Rotkardinal
Italian (Italiano) Cardinale rosso
Japanese (日本語) ショウジョウコウカンチョウ (Shoujoukoukanchou)
Norwegian (Norsk) Röd Kardinal
Polish (Polski) Kardynał szkarłatny
Russian (русский язык) Красный кардинал
Spanish (Español) Cardenal
Swedish (Svenska) Rødkardinal
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