Fun Cardinal Bird Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Feb 29, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Sakshi Kashyap
Find brilliant red cardinal bird facts here.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

The world is full of amazing species, we have found millions of them and there are still millions yet to be discovered. There is no denying the fact that our planet has blessed us with some really amazing species. A northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)is one of these wonderful species. A cardinal bird is a medium-sized bird with bright red colored feathers. This beautiful species is found in the two continents of America but are primarily found in the United States.

Today we will talk about this beautiful bird of the American continent. This bird exhibits some fascinating facts, which we will reveal in the article. After reading northern cardinal bird facts, you may also look at mockingbird facts and yellow billed cuckoo facts. So, without wasting any time, let's begin.

Cardinal Bird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cardinal?

A North American cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a passerine bird of the cardinalidae family. These medium-sized birds are known as songbirds, as northern cardinals tend to sing during the daytime.

What class of animal does a cardinal bird belong to?

As per the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, cardinal birds belong to the aves class of animals. Cardinal is the official state bird for seven states in the United States.

How many cardinal birds are there in the world?

The population of the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) species is stable and out of any Extinction threat. There is not ample information available about the exact figure of the population of cardinals. There could be thousands of cardinals present in this world.

Where does a cardinal bird live?

Since the early 19th century, the range of the cardinal birds has extended significantly to areas with moderate types of climate conditions, human civilizations, and abundant food availability.

As per Cornell Lab of Ornithology, cardinals are native to the American continents. The northern cardinal is a native of North America, and they can be found all around the central and eastern parts of the North American continent and also in the southern parts of Canada. This bird species has also been brought to regions like Hawaii, Bermuda, and California.

What is a cardinal bird's habitat?

Cardinals prefer areas with moderate climate conditions, human civilizations, and abundant food availability. Northern cardinals mostly make their homes near the edges of wood, vegetation and fences covered with shrubs. Cardinals do not hesitate to make homes in areas with human civilization because usually, people feed them with seeds and grains. So, in places with human civilizations, they get ample food for themselves.

Who do cardinal birds live with?

Cardinals are social birds, and sometimes northern cardinals may join a group of birds, but usually, you will find this bird either alone or in pairs.

How long does a cardinal bird live?

Cardinals, when in the wild have an average lifespan of three years. Although, its been said that some of these birds can also live up to 13 to 15 years. The oldest cardinal bird ever recorded was over 28 years old.

How do they reproduce?

Both male and female cardinal birds are monogamous creatures, but a northern cardinal can occasionally be polygynous. This means that cardinals can mate with multiple partners.

Cardinal birds start to make pairs of males and females at the beginning of the spring season. During this period, a variety of physical demonstrations are done by them. The males perform various types of displays to grab the attention of a female bird. The pairs, once made, stay with each other throughout the year.

The breeding season for most of the cardinal bird species starts in the month of March and ends in the month of September. Usually, two broods are raised by the pair every year, one is raised in the month of March, and the second is raised any time between May and July.

The female cardinals can lay two to five eggs which can be white and greenish in color. The incubation period of the female cardinal bird starts when all the eggs have been laid. The incubation period lasts for 11 to 13 days. During this period, the male bird brings food for his female partner.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of cardinal birds is the Least Concern, and their population is stable.

Cardinal Bird Fun Facts

What do cardinal birds look like?

Northern cardinals are songbirds with a medium-sized body. Male cardinals have bright red colored feathers and a black colored mark on its face. On the other hand, the females have light brown colored feathers with reddish highlights. Unlike the males, the female cardinals do not have a black mark on their face. The baby cardinals look a lot similar to their mothers, but northern cardinals have a black and gray colored beak.

The bills of both counterparts are long, thick, cone-shaped, and reddish-orange in color. These North American birds have a unique plumage-like feather crest at the top of their heads.

The male cardinal birds are a little bit bigger than their female counterparts. The average height of a male is 9-10 in (22-25 cm), and a female is 8-9 in (20-22 cm).

The average weight of these North American birds can be between 0.03-0.1 lb (0.50-1.72 oz). The wingspan is almost 12 in (30 cm) long.

The northern cardinal bird has a beautiful red plumage.

How cute are they?

Cardinal birds are cute medium-sized birds. Their distinct coloring and sweet voice make them look more appealing and enchanting. As per bird feeders, use sunflower seeds to attract these cute birds.

How do they communicate?

In order to communicate, cardinal birds use various vocalizations and gestures. Cardinals are excellent singing birds. Singing is like home to male and female cardinals. The cardinal bird call is loud and sweet. Their loud voices serve the purpose of guarding their enclaves. Northern cardinals also use some physical gestures for communicating. In order to alert their partner, they may tweak their tail or lower their crest.

How big is a cardinal bird?

A cardinal bird is a medium-sized bird that can grow up to 10 in (25 cm) long. This bird is almost 2.5 times bigger than a hummingbird.

How fast can a cardinal bird fly?

Cardinal birds can fly at a speed of 20-30 mph (32-48 kmph).

How much does a cardinal bird weigh?

The average weight of a cardinal bird is 0.03-0.1 lb (0.50-1.72 oz). These birds are heavier when compared to other bird species found in nature.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no special name for the male and female species. Northern cardinals are simply referred to as male cardinal and female cardinal.

What would you call a baby cardinal bird?

A baby cardinal is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Cardinals are majorly herbivores, and the majority of their diet is based on plant-based food items such as safflower seeds, sunflower seeds, white milo, peanuts, cracked corn, and berries. It is to be noted that no bird is entirely herbivore. All birds have the potential to eat small insects and worms.

Are they dangerous?

Cardinal birds are not very dangerous birds. Cardinals are indeed aggressive and territorial with other males, but there is no account of cardinal birds being aggressive and dangerous towards humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, this species is almost similar to a parrot. Although cardinals aren't related at all, their bright appearance and medium-sized body make them an adorable family pet, just like a parrot.

Did you know...

Cardinal birds are said to be the first visitor in the morning, and so they get to be fed first. The majority of the diet of the northern cardinal bird consists of seeds and grains and. Hence why cardinals are called granivorous. The male cardinals feed their female partner with seeds. This affectionate gesture by a male is known as beak to beak feeding. The red color of the North American cardinal's feather is because of a red pigment, and lack of this pigment can turn the color of the feathers from red to yellow.

Seeing a yellow cardinal is extremely rare. In the winter season, the birds can abandon their aggressive and territorial nature and reside with their fellow cardinal birds. The cardinals have a sweet, distinct voice, which can be easily identified because of its unique pattern. In many cultures, cardinal bird meaning is interpreted as a new romance starting in your life.

Cardinal birds become really aggressive and territorial during the breeding season. During the breeding season, these birds will not hesitate to attack anyone who seems like an intruder. The cardinal bird, specifically the northern cardinal, is the official state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

Symbolism of the cardinal bird

Cardinal birds are adored by the majority of the Native American population. Native Americans believe that the cardinal birds have a connection with their beloved ancestors. And that's why these birds are considered as the harbinger of the spirits.

These birds are believed to be the representation of divinity, devotion, affection, loyalty, and relationships. Some Native American tribes believe that the cardinal bird is the messenger of rain and sun. Cardinals are considered a symbol of good luck. Even today, people find it lucky to see a cardinal bird and often install a cardinal bird feeder in their gardens.

How to draw a cardinal bird

A cardinal bird is super easy to draw. Follow the instructions mentioned below, and within a few minutes, your Cardinal Bird's drawing will be ready.

Firstly, draw an inverted semi-circle inclined at an angle of 60 degrees. Now, at the lower end of this semi-circle, draw a tail. At the center of the straight line of your semicircle draw the wings of your cardinal bird. Erase the rough line visible behind the wing. Now, in order to add details, draw straight lines on the tail and then draw its two feet. And with this, the basic structure of your bird is ready. Now draw its eyes and beak. Outline your bird with a sketch pen or a marker. And then color it. With this, your drawing is ready.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including stork, or robin.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our cardinal bird coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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