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Northern Cardinal

northern cardinal on perch in long island.jpg

My Northern Cardinal lifer on Long Island. | 08/16/2014


The Northern Cardinal is the iconic red bird of winter and holiday motifs. It's red all over with a crest and a black face. In the spring and summer months, they are prolific singers with songs that sound like space lasers "pew pew pew".

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First observation

๐Ÿ“† 08/15/2014
๐Ÿ“ Long Island, New York

Captured media details

๐Ÿ“ธ โœ”๏ธ โœ”๏ธ
๐ŸŽ™๏ธ โœ”๏ธ

Experiences & anecdotes

08/15/2014 - During a trip to New York City, we stayed with the parents of one of our friends on Long Island. It was during our stay at their home that I officially saw my first Northern Cardinal. There were a number of bird feeders in the backyard: hopper feeders, goldfinch feeders, and hummingbird feeders. It was at these feeders that a bunch of Cardinals frequently visited. This is such a prolific and common bird throughout the Eastern half of the United States that most birders don't get excited about it. It was a lifer at this moment, so I was absolutely elated.

03/19/2023 - I've dove deeply into recording birds over the past year and the Northern Cardinal is an excellent subject. Its loud flamboyant songs remind me of spaceship lasers and stand out nicely among the other forest noises. These birds tend to quiet down in the off-season and you'll mostly hear them make calls in the winter.

Captured media


female cardinal in tree.jpeg

A female Northern Cardinal surveys from its perchย | 05/26/2023

Northern Cardinal on tree branch.jpg

The profile of the Northern Cardinal on a tree branch. | 03/30/2019

Audio recordings

  • ML529012351 - 0:17
    • This is a song of the Northern Cardinal I captured in late January as spring started to approach. It can be described as alternating quick downslurs with brief upslurs.

  • ML359551091 - 0:13
    • A great example of the spaceship laser song this bird often likes to sing.

  • ML517873401 - 0:13
    • The clear, simple call of the Northern Cardinal. Small, high-pitched pips.

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