Long beloved as a symbol of Christmas cheer, the Cardinal is unique in appearance
and so is a very easy bird to identify. Its peaked head (known to birders as a crested
head) and vibrant scarlet color stand out in any landscape. Bird watchers know that
providing a bird feeder for Cardinals is the best way to ensure visits from these
delightful birds. Even in the deep snows of Canada and the northeastern United States,
Cardinals remain at their homes all winter. Their nest is a cup set low in shrubbery
and contains three to four light green eggs. Immature birds are buff in color.
Unfortunately, for most inhabitants of the western United States, travel is necessary
for sighting Cardinals. Bird watching tours to Baja or Arizona are sure to include
a glimpse of these remarkable birds. In Northern California, the bird closest in
appearance to the Cardinal is the Cedar Waxwing,
sharing the Cardinal's general shape and crested head. Count yourself lucky if the
Cardinal is a backyard bird where you live!