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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Can You Guess It?? Feature

This page was updated on January 17, 2008

Helping Nebraskans enhance their lives through research-based education.


The Can You Guess It?? photo shown above is featured in the February 2008 Nebline Newsletter

ANSWER: A Male Cardinal

Cool Facts About Cardinals:

*The Northern Cardinal is the most popular state birds in the United States. Seven states record this bird as their state bird.

*Cardinals have benefitted from urban park-type habitats created by humans. Their population and range has increased over the past 200 years.

*The female Northern Cardinal sings, often from the nest. The song may give the male information about when to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.

*The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory. When a male sees its reflection in a window or other shiny surface, it will “fight” its own reflection.

*Male cardinals with the brightest red feathers are more successful. The brightly-colored males have better territories, feed at higher rates, and have more reproductive success than male cardinals with duller coloring.

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