Virginia state bird: Northern CardinalCardinalis cardinalis
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Virginia State Bird Description:
Size: 8 to 9 inches (21-23 cm)
Wingspan: 10 to 12 inches (25-31 cm)
Weight: 1.48 to 1.69 ounces (42-48 g)
The Northern Cardinal is a medium sized songbird. It has acrest on its head, a heavy, conical red bill and a face that issurrounded 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 isblack at the base of the reddish bill. Their legs and feet are dark red.
The juvenile Cardinal resembles the female, but ithas grey black bill.
The Northern Cardinal lives in woodland edges, swamps, streamsidethickets, 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 feetabove 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.
A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Virginia State Bird:
At your feeder you may see mate feedingbetween a mating pair of Cardinals. The male will pick up a seed and take it to the female. They will momentarily touch beaks as she takes the food. This may occur as often as four times per minute.
The female will often sing from the nest toalert the male that it is time to bring food.
The male Cardinal is very territorialand will vigorously defend his breeding territory. He may even fight his own reflection if he sees it in a window.