One of the Best Backyard Birds – Northern Cardinal

northern sparrow birdwatching

The Northern cardinal is one of the most popular backyard birds in America. These beautiful creatures are found in almost every state, and they are easy to attract to your yard with the right food and shelter.

Cardinals are well-known for their bright red feathers and cheerful song, and they make delightful pets for bird enthusiasts of all ages. Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating birds and discover why they are such great additions to any backyard wildlife habitat.

1. Cardinals are beautiful birds that are easy to identify

North Cardinals are some of the most beautiful birds in America. With their signature crimson red feathers, they are easy to identify even at a glance. Their black beak and face mask stands out against their bright colors, along with unique orange cones on their head and wings.

There’s a good reason why the Northern Cardinal is one of the popular symbols for the state bird. But it’s not just their appearance that makes them stand out – their behavior also sets them apart from other birds. Cardinals are surprisingly brave regarding predators and often reuse areas with humans more than other species. When it comes to information about North Cardinals, there is much to know.

They tend to feed on the ground or in brushy thickets, often eating foods like cracked corn, suet, sunflower seeds, fruit, or high-protein insects. Northern Cardinals also have incredibly powerful vocal cords reaching up to 130 decibels – making them much louder than other birds.

Because of these traits and others, North Cardinals continue to fascinate birdwatchers around the world year after year.

2. They’re great for backyard bird watching because they’re active and playful

northern cardinal birdwatching

North Cardinals are a great bird to look out for if you’re interested in backyard bird watching. Known as part of the songbird family, they’re active and playful birds that can easily be identified by their dark red feathers and vibrant orange-red color around their face, wings, and tail.

They have a unique chirp that has been described as almost musical in nature – do birds chirp? Yes! Some species of birds, like North Cardinals, do.

The best part about North Cardinals is that they love spending time in backyards, perching on nearby feeders and scoping out trees for nesting spots. This makes them an ideal choice for anyone looking to observe new bird species from the comfort of their home.

Whether you’re an avian expert or a novice observer, the presence of these brilliant birds will soon have you captivated with appreciation and admiration. Pick your favorite spot in the yard and keep your eyes peeled – before long, you’ll be able to witness the inspired flight of a beautiful North Cardinal right before your eyes! 

3. Cardinals help keep other insect pests under control

The cardinal is more than just a pretty backyard bird – it’s also a potent insect predator. During the warm months when the insect population is at its peak, cardinals will voraciously feed on a wide variety of insects, including flies, caterpillars, and beetles.

They spend much of their day hopping around in low vegetation, where they feast on these resources when they are flush with prey. Cardinals often catch their food on the wing when possible and supplement their diet with seeds when insect populations decline as colder weather arrives.

This makes them invaluable in limiting the number of annoying (and potentially harmful) insect pests that flourish during warmer months. Not only do cardinals provide an aesthetically pleasing presence in yards and gardens, but they also help to keep other insects under control.

4. They’re also interesting to listen to and can be taught to say simple phrases

North Cardinals are a species of North American songbirds renowned for their vibrant array of colors. But North Cardinals aren’t just beautiful to look at—they’re also interesting to listen to and can be taught to say simple phrases. North Cardinals develop intricate, melodic songs that have earned them the nickname “Red-caped Nightingales.”

The males, in particular, are known for their captivating repertoire of tweets and trills. North Cardinall owners often teach their birds to mimic speech, like saying “hello” or “good morning” as a parlor trick or simply out of amusement.

Those who take the extra effort to record these phrases can even create an audio postcard featuring the North Cardinall’s unique vocals! North Cardinals are more than just charming members of nature; they offer entertainment when properly cared for and trained.

5. In the winter, cardinals can be used as a sign of hope that spring is on its way

North Cardinals, known for their vibrant coloring and distinctive songs, are closely associated with the North American winter landscape. As the days become shorter and the weather colder, North Cardinals serve as a comforting reminder that spring is on its way.

For birdwatchers, observing North Cardinals can be a rewarding activity during the winter months. North Cardinal sightings often mean an increase in avian activity; they will usually arrive first in cooler climates before migratory birds flock to warmer regions.

The North Cardinal’s bright colors – ranging from bright red to dark rusty tones – stand out against cold, wintry scenes and give hope of nature’s renewal when warmer temperatures finally return each year. North Cardinals may not be seen year-round in all areas; however, those lucky enough to spot one will be reminded of the beauty of the North American winter season and that spring is just around the corner.

6. Overall, the Northern Cardinal is a great bird in your backyard.

The Northern Cardinal is a great addition to any backyard, providing benefits beyond the beauty they bring. Not only will they enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor space, but they can also provide benefits for your mental health. The cheerful chirp of cardinals can elevate moods, reduce stress and fill you with a feeling of contentment and peace. 

For adults living in urban environments, these benefits may be especially helpful. Bird-watching is a perfect way to add much-needed moments of mindfulness and connection with nature. Another benefit of cardinals (and other birds) is that they provide natural pest control for your yard by eating bugs and undesirable insects. 

For those seeking to attract cardinals to their outdoor space, ensure there is a steady source of birdseed available along with fresh water and native plants. With the right ingredients in place, you’ll likely enjoy the splendors of a flock of Northern Cardinals in no time.                  

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.