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The Northern Cardinal in these pictures were photographed at Lakes Regional Park in Ft. Myers, FL and were seen over a period of several days either perched in a tree or scavenging along the ground for twigs and grasses for its’ nest. The Northern Cardinal is an impressive bird to look at because of its’ bright red color, short sharp beak, rectangular black patch on its’ face and pointed top of its’ head. The Cardinal is a song bird and it makes a series of calls to other birds to either communicate its need for food for its young in the nest, to warn away intruders in its territory or to communicate to other birds. I have found Lakes Regional Park to be a good place to view a variety of birds. There are over 278 acres in this park with ample tree cover and freshwater lakes that provide good habitat for birds.
The All About Birds website has a good collection of sounds and songs that the Cardinal makes. Click on the Sound Tab and scroll down to the audio clips to hear the Cardinal songs and calls.
The Northern Cardinal is a year round inhabitant of mostly southeastern states and does not migrate unlike many other birds. Its’ habitat includes mixed hardwood forests, pine flatwoods, urban and agricultural environments and in the backyards of homeowners. Its’ diet consists of mostly seeds and fruits but eats insects as well. The female Cardinal can produce up to 3 broods of offspring per year. Seven states have named the Cardinal as its state bird.