The Northern Cardinal is a member of the Cardinal Family. The
male is bright red
a reddish bill and black face. The female is light brown or tan and red, with a
red bill and crest. It has a large range which extends from southern Ontario to
South America. It prefers woodland edges, mesquite thickets and riparian areas.
The photo at right is of a female Cardinal.
Cardinals feed on insects, berries and seeds. In the spring the
birds build a cup-shaped nest of twigs and plant stems, lined with grasses and
hairs, usually in a dense shrub or mesquite 5-10 feet off the ground. Females
lay 3-4 eggs that are incubated for 12-13 days. Cardinals typically raise 2-3
broods per year.