I’ve realized that I don’t know much about Cardinals. I can recognize their calls, recognize juvenile and adult, and male and female, but beyond that I don’t know much. I’m an information nut, and if I don’t know something I almost obsess on it until I can feel adequate enough in what I’ve learned.
I’ve just read that only a few North American Songbirds sing, but the female Cardinal does in fact sing. I witnessed that this morning. The momma bird was just waking up and started to do some brief tweets to the male. Within moments, the male Cardinal brought some food for the babies. He then left, and momma bird returned, fed the babies herself, then settled on top of the babies to keep them warm. She then just started singing. It was quite cute to watch. Unfortunately I don’t have any video of that.
The Cardinal nest typically takes 3-9 days to build. The typically numbers of eggs is 2-5. Northern Cardinals are serially monogamous, but up to 20% will not be together the following year.
Cardinals tend to have about 2 nests per year, but according to http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Cardinalis_cardinalis.html the second nest is often parasitized by Brown Headed Cowbirds.
The Cardinal Chicks typically leave the nest after only 7-13 days after hatching, but the adult parents will continue to feed the fledglings for 25-56 days.
There’s more, but I want to share this video with you. It shows daddy Cardinal feeding his babies.