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Cardinal Bird Watching

Latin Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
Size: 7 1/2" - 9"
Color: Male, brilliant red with black face and throat and red bill. Female, tan with lesser red markings on crest, wings, and tail.
Voice: Whistles cheer cheer and calls tsip.
Habitat: Gardens, woodlands, streams, and mesquite regions.
Range: From Colorado river valley of California through southern Arizona to Baja and Mexico. Nearly all of the eastern United States. Introduced to Los Angeles and Hawaii.
Bird feeder? The Cardinal is an excellent birdfeeder guest. Being a non-migratory bird, a supplemental food supply can be a tremendous help to the Cardinal in winter.
Cardinal 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!

- Read the Latest News from the Birding Sonoma County Blog -

Tomales Bay State Park Closure - One Upset Birder Tomales Bay State Park Closure - One Upset Birder
January 22, 2008, Point Reyes, CA
Governor Schwarzenegger is planning to close our beautiful, sacred Tomales Bay State Park in Marin County along with 42 other desperately-needed and exuberantly cherished state parks throughout California. Closing all of these wonderful parks would not even take us 1% in the direction of being back in the black. And think of what will have been lost. Read Article »

Bay Area Oil Spill A Disaster For Birds Bay Area Oil Spill A Disaster For Birds
November 11, 2007, Kenwood, CA
When the Cosco Busan crashed into the Bay Bridge, every birder I know immediately thought of what this disaster would mean for the birds. In addition to our beloved birds, whales will be swimming through the oil, as will seals, sea lions and other marine mammals. West Marin is one of my favorite places on earth, and to see it thus spoiled fills me with sorrow and anger. Read Article »

Bewick's Wren - A hidden Bay Area bird worth seeking! Bewick's Wren - A hidden Bay Area bird worth seeking!
October 7, 2007, Glen Ellen, CA
Today, we'll turn our gaze on Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii, one of the larger SF Bay Area Wrens. Bewick's Wren, like most wrens, will instantly strike you as being 'all-tail'. Identification clue number one for wrens is that they tend to hold their tails up-turned, as if in proud of their lovely plumes. Read Article »

The White-crowned Sparrow has returned! The White-crowned Sparrow has returned!
September 24, 2007, Kenwood, CA
This trusty little bird disappeared when the weather heated up, early in the year, heading north to cooler Canada. Just this afternoon, my husband called me to the window excitedly. There, at the foot of the photinia hedge, a lone White-crowned Sparrow was hopping humbly through the green grass. Read Article »