Northern Cardinals of New England
Winter is a wonderful time to spot the Northern Cardinal. Their vivid reds brighten up the gloomiest day. They are beautiful additions to snow-covered backyard and winter gardens. Cardinals are year-round residents in Massachusetts. They use their bright, powerful beaks to crack open stubborn seeds and to slice open sugary fruits to help them survive the coldest months of the year. The Northern Cardinal gets its bright color from the food it eats. In Massachusetts, dogwood berries make up a big part of their diet.
The Cardinal Song and Dance
Cardinals use songs and body signals to communicate. Both the male and females sing loud beautiful whistles to indicate territory and to attract mates. Chirps and whistles blend together to create sweet sound. Male and female cardinals use “chip” calls to keep contact with their mate and to signal alarm.
They can also signal alarms by using body signals. Flicking their tails and raising and lowering the crest of feathers on top of their head translates into a number of important messages to each other.
COMMON NAME: Cardinal SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cardinalis cardinalis
DIET: Omnivore AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 15 years
SIZE: 8 to 9 inches WEIGHT: 1.5 to 1.8 ounces
Draw Northern Cardinals to Your Yard!
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