The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a North American bird in the genus Cardinalis, and is known colloquially as the redbird or common cardinal. The Northern Cardinal can be found in southern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and south through Mexico. Cardinalis cardinalis is found in woodlands, gardens, shrublands, and swamps.
The northern cardinal is one of three birds in the genus Cardinalis and is included in the family Cardinalidae, which is made up of passerine birds found in North and South America. There are over 5,000 identified species of passerine birds -- more than half of all bird species. The other two species in the genus Cardinalis are Pyrrhuloxia (Desert Cardinal/Cardinalis sinuatus) found in the American southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas) and Mexico; and Vermilion Cardinal (Cardinalis phoeniceus) found in Colombia and Venezuela.
A notable feature of passerines compared to other orders of Aves (birds) is the arrangement of their toes, which facilitates perching -- three toes pointing forward and one toe pointing back .
The Northern Cardinal was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae. It was initially included in the genus Loxia, which now contains only crossbills.
In 1838, it was placed in the genus Cardinalis and given the scientific name Cardinalis virginianus, which means "Virginia cardinal".
In 1918, the scientific name was changed to Richmondena cardinalis to honor Charles Wallace Richmond, an American ornithologist.
In 1983, the scientific name was changed again to Cardinalis cardinalis and the common name was changed to "northern cardinal", to avoid confusion with the seven other species also termed cardinals.
Species: C. cardinalis
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) singing at 6:13 a.m. CDT (1113 GMT/UT) on March 25, 2007. The Northern Cardinal in Arlington Heights, IL found in a tree in a backyard was not visible on video, but was captured on audio before Civil Twilight and could be heard very well. This is the song heard before Civil Twilight in total darkness.
Northern Cardinal Call Pre-Dawn in Total Darkness.
Northern Cardinal Call at Dawn.
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) singing at 6:20 a.m. CDT (1120 GMT/UT) on March 25, 2007. The Northern Cardinal in Arlington Heights, IL found a high peak on a home and was caught on video and audio right at Civil Twilight and minutes following. This is the song heard at Civil Twilight.