NPS wildlife camera photo
The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is an easily identified common bird of the Chattahoochee River corridor. Males are bright red with black around the base of their orange bills with a large crest, while females have a buff colored body and grayish-brown above and a reddish-orange bill, crest, wings and tail. They are common in brushy habitats within or at the edges of woods and travel in pairs or small groups year-round. They can be seen feeding while hopping around on the ground, gathering seeds, fruit, berries, spiders, and insect larvae from low shrubs and trees. It makes its nests in dense shrubs or among the branches of small trees out of twigs, bark strips, vines, leaves, rootlets, and paper lined with fine grass and hair. They grow 8.5-9 inches long, with a wingspan of about 12 inches. Their song is a series of high, clear, mostly slurred whitsles "woit woit woit chew chew chew chew chew" or "pichew pichew tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw tiw".