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(Richmondena cardinalis)

Most everyone is familiar with the brilliant red flash of a cardinal, for his popular beauty is commonly found along roadsides, forest edges, and in suburban gardens and parks across much of the country. The female cardinal is buff-brown with only touches of the distinguishing bright red plumage of her mate. Both sexes are accomplished musicians, performing over two dozen variations of their melodious song. They feed on a variety of insects, wild fruits, blossoms, seeds and even maple sap. Sunflower seeds and cracked corn are particular feeder favorites, for the stout, cone-shaped bills of these birds are perfect for rapid seed shelling. Learn more about creating a habitat for wildlife through NWF's Backyard Wildlife HabitatTM program (

©National Wildlife Federation®

Cardinal by George H. Harrison
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