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A male northern cardinal perches in a ninebark shrub as it soaks up the warming rays of the morning sun.

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Back Cover

This content is archived
"Back Cover" for the February 2000 Missouri Conservationist.

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Photo of male northern cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalis
At one time, Missouri had two professional sports teams named after this bird, and it’s no wonder the northern cardinal is so popular: it’s a striking red bird with a dashing crest and a natty black mask—and it’s an excellent singer, too!

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Photo of female northern cardinal

Northern Cardinal (Female)

Female cardinals are buffy tan below and grayish brown above. Otherwise, they are similar to males, with reddish tinges in wings, tail, and crest.

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Photo of male northern cardinal

Northern Cardinal (Male)

The male cardinal is a striking red bird with a dashing crest and a natty black mask—and it’s an excellent singer, too. The songs are clear, up- or down-slurred whistles. The call is a sharp “chip.”

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Photo of molting, bald-headed male northern cardinal

Northern Cardinal Molting

Sometimes people see bald-headed cardinals—cardinals without feathers on their heads. This condition usually is reported in summer and fall, when cardinals are molting, and new feathers usually grow in soon after.

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Once Upon A Mid-Day Dreary...

For Missourians, that rapping in the spring is more likely to be produced by a male cardinal.

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