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November 30, 2013 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Northern Cardinal

Last week I needed a splash of color so I went into my photo archives for a summer bird, the brilliant blue Indigo Bunting, but also noted we do have one bird that outshines all others in the winter, and that is the Northern Cardinal.

A delightful burst of color

While out walking yesterday I came across a group of cardinals along a shrubby edge. Most of them stayed on the ground or in the shrubs, but one flew up to a branch in a small tree, popped out in the open, and looked around for a moment or two. My burst of color for the day.


Year-round resident

The cardinal doesn’t migrate and is a year-round resident in the Eastern and Midwestern US. They can also be found in parts of Mexico and Southeastern Canada.

Cardinals readily come to backyards and eat at feeders but are shy birds and do not like to get too close to people. They prefer shrubby areas and dense foliage making them more difficult to see in the summer and challenging to photograph. But in the winter the bright red male stands out among the leafless branches, his color providing stark contrast to the brown and gray winter landscape.


Saturday Snapshot was originated by Alyce at At Home With Books. It is now hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.



Leave a Comment
  1. Arti / Nov 30 2013 11:18 am

    It’s just amazing that you can have colorful birds all year. This one is beautiful! We don’t have Cardinals here… only photos of them. Thanks for posting and sharing your colorful find!


  2. laurelrainsnow / Nov 30 2013 12:06 pm

    You seem to be located wonderfully for these bird visitors….and you have a wide range of them. The cardinal always seems so regal….gorgeous, too. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Sharon Chance / Nov 30 2013 1:41 pm

    Beautiful photo!


  4. Pat @ Posting For Now / Nov 30 2013 1:44 pm

    Beautiful photo and bird! I have a winter flag with a Cardinal on it that I think I will put outside.


  5. BermudaOnion / Nov 30 2013 4:44 pm

    I remember watching birds with my grandmother and learning how to tell male and female cardinals apart – they’ve been one of my favorite birds ever since.


  6. Susan / Nov 30 2013 9:02 pm

    One of my very favorite birds … love their way of parenting and their different calls … they are just such cool birds! Great capture on your part!


  7. Louise / Nov 30 2013 9:46 pm

    What a treat that must be to have cardinals during your winter. Their lovely red would be so cheery. I’ve only seen them in Texas in the summer, so they were in the foliage, your young fellow looks wonderful in the bare branches.


  8. samstillreading / Dec 1 2013 5:50 am

    So gorgeous! Lovely and bright.


  9. Alyce Reese / Dec 1 2013 2:00 pm

    Cardinals are so pretty! I haven’t been lucky enough to get a good photo of one yet since they are so skittish.


  10. Suko / Dec 1 2013 3:17 pm

    That is a very beautiful photograph! Your work belongs in a gallery, Leslie.


  11. diane / Dec 1 2013 3:41 pm

    The male cardinal is a favorite of mine, and you are so right about their shyness and being difficult to photograph. (You are the master though):


  12. Sheila (Book Journey) / Dec 1 2013 9:33 pm

    What a great color! Beautiful!


  13. vidyatiru / Dec 2 2013 1:49 am

    wow! one more bird foto to admire.. love the pop of color


  14. stacybuckeye / Dec 10 2013 10:31 pm

    Great shot. We have cardinals in our backyard a lot. Over the years I’ve grown to admire the females just as much as their flashy counterparts 🙂



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