Streaming Video (IE only).
Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, is a member of the Family Cardinalidae, Order Passeriformes. It is one of the most recognizable and dramatic of the perching birds or Passerines of the eastern and southern United States.
The male defends a territory against other males quite vigorously. Male cardinals will commonly attack their own reflections in windows or parked car mirrors. Both male and female have a crest of feathers on their heads which are raised and lowered depending on the bird’s interaction with other birds or threats. Male and female cardinals display sexual dimorphism in their coloration. The male is colored brilliant red with a black face and orange bill. The female is a warm tan color which does show a hint of red on the wings, crest, breast, cheeks, and tail. She also has a black face and an orange bill. The nest is constructed of twigs and grasses in a the form of a cup which is usually built in a dense shrub. The pair mates for life and will raise two broods a year.
The female does most of the incubation of the eggs with some help from the male. The eggs hatch after only 12 or 13 days. The male will sometimes bring food while the female incubates.
The pair shares care of the young birds with both bringing food and covering the young if it is cold. The young cardinals develop remarkably swiftly and are soon covered by grey down. Almost as soon as they have a grey down cover, the developing wing feathers can be observed as bluish grey shafts appear on the still naked wings.
The tiny young cardinals are ready to leave the nest after only 9 or 10 days from hatching. They are barely able to fly at this stage, but they are capable little monkeys that can climb up into the shrubbery where their high pitched calls help the parents to locate them. People who find these babies often think they need help because these tiny little things seemingly couldn’t be ready to be out of the nest. This is usually not the case as there is generally a parent watching over them. Actually, at this point it may be dad who is doing most of the baby sitting as mom may be already starting to build a new nest for the next brood.
Food and feeding
Cardinals have a strong, conical finch type bill. This bill is well adapted for cracking hard shelled seeds like sunflower seeds. These birds have a particular affinity for these seeds. In addition to many other types of hard shelled seeds, cardinals are also fond of insects and berries. Close observation of the webcam shows that the parents are capable of holding in their beak, or regurgitating one shelled seed after another as they feed their multiple brood.
Nope! We are in luck as these beautiful birds stay put and add color to the winter landscape.
Interaction with Humans
Actually these are birds that benefit from human activity for the most part. They seem to enjoy our shrubbery and probably benefit by protection from predators by living near us. These are birds that we love to see at our birdfeeders, so if there are cardinals about, birdseed sales increase dramatically.
This webcam is aimed at a cardinal nest found in an ornamental yew foundation planting only inches from a house. In fact, the camera is mounted on the house looking outwards towards the yew bush and the nest. Audio and video cables are strung to the house where the internet connection is made. And yes, there is a birdfeeder nearby with lots of sunflower seeds.