Cardinals Small Journal
The following description appears on the inside cover of your small journal.
These birds are named for the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church with their bright red robes. With vivid red plumage and clear whistling songs, the northern cardinal is a backyard favorite. Cardinals add cheer to our winter landscape with their color as they often remain on their breeding territory year-round. Cardinals are residents in the eastern half of the U.S. and are currently expanding their range northward and into the southwest. They inhabit forests, shrublands, parks, suburbs and backyards. Cardinals usually build their nests in dense thickets. Their primary diet is fruits, seeds and insects.
Cardinals not only mate for life, they remain together the whole year. The adult male is red overall with a black face and chin. Females are grey-brown with a reddish tinge to her crest, wings and tail. Both sexes have red bills and sing clear, slurred whistled phrases that are repeated several times. Each individual has a vocabulary of several phrase types which it combines into different songs. One common song pattern resembles “purdy purdy purdy…whoit, whoit, whoit.” Another one sounds like “what-cheer, what-cheer…wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet.” The alternating songs heard in spring are as likely to be from a courting pair as from rival males proclaiming territory.
Cardinals remind us to add color to our lives.
artwork by John Sill
text by Steve Sierigk