Cardinal State Bird: Interesting Facts You May Not Know | Kidadl


Cardinal State Bird: Interesting Facts You May Not Know

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If you love birds and are into birdwatching, look out for a bird with a bright red plumage called the cardinal!

Many states in the US have chosen some birds as their official state birds. The red cardinal bird is the official state bird for seven states in the US.

The process of selecting state birds for each state began in 1927 when many the legislatures for several states like Alabama, Missouri, Texas, Oregon, Wyoming, and Florida started choosing an official bird to represent their state. Maine and Texas were the first states to do so! The North Carolina state chose the cardinal as its official bird through popular vote! Furthermore, looking at the birds flying overhead during specific events leads to a rush of human emotions and feelings. All this paved the way for the importance of choosing a bird to officially represent a state. The northern cardinal, or the Cardinalis cardinalis, is a bird that belongs to the genus Cardinalis which is also known as the common cardinal, redbird, or just cardinal.

Cardinal species are songbirds that are found commonly across north and south America. The cardinal is a bird that has been adopted as the official state bird of many states in the US. The western meadowlark is the next bird in line to be designated as the official state bird by six other US states namely Montana, Texas, Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Female cardinals are light while the males are bright red in color. Male cardinals get their bright red color from the carotenoids that they get from the food they eat. If the food that triggers that pigment is not easily available to them, their color fades to a brown hue as well. The northern cardinal is sometimes called the winter redbird since it is frequently noticed during the winter season.

What does a cardinal look like?

Cardinals are great songbirds and are a delight for many bird feeders because of their vibrant red color as well their frequent visits to people's backyards. This bird is also responsible for making a lot of people turn to birdwatching!

These birds are easily identified with the raised crests and their unique cone-shaped bills which are a tone of orange and red. People frequently make the mistake of calling other red birds like cardinals. Therefore, there are some pointers you can look for when trying to identify a cardinal. A cardinal has a long tail, short wings, a relatively large head with a puffed-up body. Male cardinals are a brilliant red color with a black mask on their face while the female cardinals are mostly light brown in color with highlights of red. They also have dark colorations around their beaks and eyes.

The Northern cardinal or Cardinalis cardinalis is a medium-sized bird and looks quite stocky, like puffballs on a branch! The male birds of these species tend to be slightly larger than the female birds. The northern cardinal is believed to get its bright red pigment for the food it eats like berries and other plants that trigger the production of this unique pigment in them. Sometimes, if the production of the pigment is low, they can look more brown than red. Due to their highly pigmented color, they are a beautiful sight to see during winters, with bright red against white. If you are aware of the popular mobile game and movie 'Angry Birds', the red angry bird is a northern cardinal!

Habitat Of Cardinals

Cardinals often engage in a behavior called anting which helps them ward off lice!

The northern cardinal is commonly found across the eastern and central parts of America throughout the year. This state bird of many American states does not migrate to other places, even during seasonal changes. These birds are spread widely in their range and their population is quite stable.

This state bird tends to stay close to human areas due to the fact that a large part of the food in its diet comes from backyard bird feeders. If you want to attract some of these birds to the bird feeders in your backyard, use seeds like sunflower seeds and safflower seeds too. Cracked corn, fresh berries, and peanuts are also some things that they like too. Make sure that your bird feeder is big and sturdy as these birds can be small but they are a bit heavy. The cardinal or Cardinalis cardinalis, which is the state bird of many American states, is often known to make its home in the edges of forests and in the landscapes of grasslands that have shrubberies and thickets. This gives them a place to nest and hide in.

The male cardinal is a bird that is very defensive, often going to extreme lengths of even fighting with its own reflection! They are great at protecting their territories and will fight off other males if they have to. A cardinal is a bird that goes through great lengths to find its perfect habitat and once it does, it fills its home with some wonderful songs.

Which states have the cardinal as their state bird?

The 50 states of the United States of America each have an official state bird and they have been doing so since 1927! Texas and Maine were the first American states to each choose a state bird for themselves. Northern cardinals and robins were the most common backyard birds to have been adopted as official state birds and many states have done so. The greater roadrunner of New Mexico and the common loon of Minnesota are much rare state birds.

The seven states that have designated the Northern cardinal as their official state bird are Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. In 1928, the school children of Illinois chose the northern cardinal as the State Bird of Illinois. In Kentucky, the cardinal became its official state bird during the legislative session in 1926. In 1933, Ohio made the northern cardinal its state bird. The northern cardinal became the official state bird for the North Carolina state by popular choice on March 4, 1943. The following year, the General Assembly made it official.

Indiana adopted the official cardinal state bird and this was done by the 1933 General Assembly. January 25, 1950, saw the northern cardinal becoming the official state bird of Virginia and West Virginia also made the cardinal its official State Bird on March 7, 1949, taking a vote by pupils of public schools and civic organizations which then became authorized. Some states have decided to choose an official game bird since the hunting of their official birds is not allowed. An interesting fact about the northern cardinal is that unlike most songbirds where only one gender sings, both male and female cardinals can sing.

Importance Of Cardinals

Believe it or not, the cardinal or the redbird is not only known for being the state bird of many American states but the cardinal has a lot of symbolic and spiritual importance in many cultures and folklore.

The northern cardinal is known for being an amazing singer and will try to woo its mate by singing some melodies to her. The male bird also feeds its mate and when their beaks come together, it looks like they're sharing a sweet kiss. This adorable behavior of the famous state bird gets many couples to begin birdwatching, making the entire event quite passionate and romantic. Some people who have listened to these stunning songbirds have also mentioned that they are able to go back to happy or pleasant memories that they lost over the course of time!

In the Christian tradition especially, the northern cardinal holds a lot of respect and value as it is believed to be a symbol for both diversity and unity. Apart from being a popular American state bird, the northern cardinal has strong ties with Native American culture. Furthermore, it is also believed that they denote loving relationships, courtship, devotion, and monogamy. Some people believe that the cardinal bird brings rain while some people see it as a symbol of good fortune or luck!

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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