People passionate about nature

Northern Cardinal

Photo by JoAnn McLaren Aman

How do I recognize it?
Male cardinals are unmistakable, with their bright red plumage, jaunty crest and black face. Their loud song is often heard in the background during televised golf tournaments – a series of “weet, weet, weet” or “chew, chew, chew” notes, or variations thereof. Females have a less striking plumage.

Photo by Rudolf Koes

Does it migrate?
Cardinals are year-round permanent residents, although they may wander a bit during the non-breeding season.

Where does it live?
In Manitoba this species is mostly found in suburban areas of Winnipeg and smaller communities in the southern quarter of the province.

Photo by Rudolf Koes

Where can I see it?
Cardinals tend to occupy the same territories over a number of years. In the recent past the most reliable locations in Winnipeg have been the vicinity of Bunn’s Creek and the area near Kildonan Drive and Hazel Dell.

Photo by Rudolf Koes

Conservation status
Although the Northern Cardinal is a species of least concern across its range, in Manitoba it has never managed to get more than a toe-hold. Perhaps our tough winters are a barrier to it becoming more widespread.

Did you know?
Northern Cardinal is the most common state bird in the United States, with no less than seven states having chosen it: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

Written by Rudolf Koes