The Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal became the state bird of Ohio in 1933. Before the 19th century, the Cardinal was a rarity in Ohio due to the heavy forestation. Where some birds like open prairies and some prefer thick woodlands the Northern Cardinal prefers mixed habitats. Once settlers started clearing land the population of this beautiful bird began to thrive.
Here are a few interesting facts about the Northern Cardinal
· They do not migrate and usually live their whole lives within a 1.5-mile radius of where they were born.
· They will molt, but they maintain their bright colors. They do not change colors like the American Goldfinch or the Scarlet Tanager.
· They love sunflower seeds and are attracted to most styles of birdfeeders.
· The male and female both sing. In most species of birds only the male sings.
· It is the state bird of 7 states. They are Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
· The oldest recorded cardinal was a female at the age of 15 years and 9 months.
· The male cardinal will feed the female during courtship.
· Male cardinals will fiercely defend their territory and will even attack their own reflection for hours.
· The cardinal was named after the Catholic Cardinal. The male’s bright red color was very similar to the Catholic Cardinal’s vestment.
· In the 1800s, cardinals were popular as cage birds. In 1918, the Migratory Treaty Act was passed that helped protect these birds and prohibited their sale. It is now illegal to own or kill a cardinal.
The Northern Cardinal is a popular bird among many birdwatchers. From their brilliant bright red color to their beautiful songs they are always a sight to behold.