Northern Cardinal

1/800s at f5.6 ISO:800, Canon Mark III 1Ds w/800mm

The Northern Cardinal is abundant across the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and in Canada in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Its range extends west to the U.S.-Mexico border and south through Mexico to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, northern Guatemala, and northern Belize. Its natural habitat is woodlands, gardens, shrub lands, and swamps. This bird is a permanent resident throughout its range, although it may relocate to avoid extreme weather or if food is scarce. The diet of the Northern Cardinal consists mainly (up to 90 percent) of weed seeds, grains, and fruits. Northern Cardinals also will consume insects and feed their young almost exclusively on insects The female builds a cup nest in a well-concealed spot. She generally incubates the eggs, which will take 12 to 13 days. The young will fledge 10 to 11 days after hatching. Two to three, and even four, broods are raised each year. The male cares for and feeds each brood as the female incubates the next clutch of eggs.
Medicine Creek, NE