Sunday, November 08, 2015

Northern Cardinal (Cardinal rouge)

    This morning as I was glancing out the window and realizing that my main bird feeder is empty and that I need to get to the feed mill to buy more seed, a dazzling male Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis was picking through the wilted garden plants to secure whatever errant seeds may be found among them. It struck me, not for the first time I must admit, that we are very fortunate to have such a stunningly beautiful bird present here all year.

     It survives our harsh winters and is one of the first songsters to proclaim the arrival of spring when the males sing constantly from high perches. This species first moved north of the Mexican border in the early twentieth century and since then has colonized much of the continent.

     I have no doubt that it is a backyard favourite with anyone fortunate enough to have them close by.

     Although the male is the stunner, the female is imbued with a charm all her own. The subtle hues of her plumage are perfectly integrated into a study of grace and delicacy.

     Who can fail to be captivated by this species? Not many it seems, for many sports teams here have adopted the name Cardinal. No matter how well they perform, however, they will never rival the excellence of the bird from which they derived their name. 
David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. The male and female look stunning,so do the pics.
    Keep well.

  2. Truly one of the world's great garden/urban birds, wish we had something similar here......................

  3. Pretty cardinals images. The female is beautiful! Happy Sunday!

  4. Beautiful photos, David! The little female is precious. :)

  5. What a magnificent birds these are, especially when they are so beautiful in the picture.
    Greetings Tinie

  6. Hi David
    I would like this bird in my garden lol
    The female is very very cute.
    Very great portraits

  7. Great photos of this little "punk" :)

  8. The Cardinal is the one bird i miss at our winter feeders. They are in the neighbourhood but i don't think we have enough cover near the feeders for them.

  9. Indeed, an extraordinary bird, you are very lucky :)
    gorgeous photos!
    Many thanks for your thoughts, David, I did not find the time and will to blog much lately.
    Things are still very difficult and will remain so until I get rid of this property. Such a burden for me alone.
    Much love and hugs to share with Miriam :)

  10. Take good care of these birds, David. If we get to Canada I'll be wanting an introduction. I'm not sure that I'd use the word 'beautiful' but 'stunning' and 'dazzling' are certainly appropriate!

    Our best wishes to you both - - - Richard

    1. If one ever were to use the word guarantee as it relates to seeing a bird, Richard, this is one that I can guarantee.

  11. Beautiful birds, David and very nice pictures too!
    Gr Jan W

  12. Hello David This is amazing these birds. You can hardly believe it is for real those colors.
    Hope all is well with you and thank you for your reaction on my latets blog.

  13. Dearest David,
    Indeed, this stunningly beautiful bird has had many admirers that stayed with us from abroad. All are amazed at its exotic looks and it is a very frequent guest at our bird feeders. We can watch them form our bay window area, starting at breakfast time.
    You took some excellent photos of these beauties!

  14. I didn't realise the Cardinal was such a recent colonist. It is a stunning bird but more than anything I remember their vice-like grip on an unwary finger.

  15. Beautiful Northern Cardinal images, excellent David.

  16. Beauty shots! I love cardinals and feel very fortunate that they are in my yard year round.

  17. You ARE lucky to have this species in your yard, especially in winter when they must really brighten up a snowy day.

  18. Great! These are really beautiful birds. Their red color is fantastic.
    Unfortunately, we in the Netherlands these beautiful birds Cardinals not but fortunately we can then enjoy at your blog it. Gorgeous and beautiful clear pictures.

  19. Both the male and the female are very beautiful. You're very fortunate to have them.


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We acknowledge that the land on which we are situated are the lands traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour all our relations.