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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Northern Cardinal


The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 8.3 to 9 inches (21-23 cm) and a wingspan of 10-12 in (25-31 cm). It weighs about 1.6 ounces (45 g). Males are slightly larger than females.

The male is a brilliant crimson red with a black face mask over the eyes and extending to the upper chest. Females are a fawn color, with mostly grayish-brown tones and a slight reddish tint in the wings and tail feathers. The face mask of the female is gray to black, and is less defined than that of the male. Both sexes possess prominent raised crests and strong bright coral-colored beaks. Young birds, both male and female, show the coloring of the adult female until the fall, when they will molt and grow their adult feathers.

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