Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cardinal | The Official Bird of Virginia

I was working on my laptop when this little beauty has been spotted in our backyard. I grabbed my camera and started taking a few photos up close until I was too close and the bird flew and left to another backyard.

Cardinal

"Virginia designated the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) as official state bird in 1950. One of America's favorite backyard birds, cardinals are distinctive in appearance and song - known for their "cheer cheer cheer," "whit-chew whit-chew" and "purty purty purty" whistles.


Cardinal Click on photo for bigger image

























Male cardinals are a brilliant scarlet red, females are a buffy brown with reddish wings - both have a jet -black mask, pronounced crest, and heavy bill. The cardinal sings nearly year-round, and the male aggressively defends his 4-acre territory (male cardinals have been seen attacking small red objects mistaken as other males).

Click on the photos below for bigger version

Cardinal Click on photo for bigger imageCardinal Click on photo for bigger image

Cardinal Click on photo for bigger image Cardinal Click on photo for bigger image

Northern cardinals breed 2-3 times each season. The female builds the nest and tends the hatchlings for about 10 days while the male brings food. The male then takes over the care of this first brood while the female moves on to a new nest and lays a second clutch of eggs.

The cardinal is the state bird of 7 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia."




Wikipedia:
"Cardinals, in the family Cardinalidae, are passerine birds found in North and South America. They are also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings. The South American cardinals in the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae(previously placed in Emberizidae).
These are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family ranges in size from the 12-cm (4.7 inches), 11.5-gram (.40 oz)Orange-breasted Bunting to the 25-cm (9.8 inches), 85-gram (2.99 oz) Black-headed Saltator[verification needed]. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinctive appearances. The Northern Cardinal type species was named by colonists for the male's red crest, reminiscent of a Catholic cardinal's mitre."

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