Kentucky state bird: Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
The Northern Cardinal is a medium sized songbird. It has a crest on its head, a heavy, conical red bill and a face that is surrounded by black. The male Cardinal is bright red with black around the base of its reddish bill.
The female is grayish tan with reddish wings, tail and crest. The face of both the male and female is black at the base of the reddish bill. Their legs and feet are dark red. The juvenile Cardinal resembles the female, but it has grey black bill.
The Northern Cardinal lives in woodland edges, swamps, streamside thickets, and vegetation around houses in sub-urban areas.
The Northern Cardinal eats seeds, fruits, buds and insects. Can be attracted to bird feeders with sunflower seeds and safflower seeds. Is more likely to feed from platform feeders and hopper feeders. Usually seen at feeders at dawn and at dusk.
Nests are usually built in small trees or shrubs, 1 to 15 feet above the ground. The nest is constructed from twigs, bark strips, vines, leaves, hair, and grass. Clutch will contain 2 to 5 eggs and incubation lasts 12 to 13 days.
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