Thursday, January 9, 2014
Creature Feature #83: Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal is numerous throughout the eastern US states, and down into Central America. He is a brightly coloured songbird, although his mate is rather more dowdy. The two mate for life, with the male announcing their territory with a high, clear whistle and chasing off any intruders that might venture into it. These songs are learned, and thus vary regionally. The female also sings, and sometimes they duet together. He also has a distinctive alarm call, which he uses to alert his mate - when she is sitting on the nest - of encroaching predators. Potential predators include snakes, owls, rodents and cats, all of which prey on either birds or eggs.
My scanner does not handle red well, and thus this fellow may not make the final “cut” for my Animal encyclopedia. I have far too many animals planned for C, at any rate.