The clock’s ticking down to another Christmas, and I want to take this opportunity to wish my readers a Merry Christmas. I hope everyone enjoys a great Christmas that, just might, also include watching some birds.
Often, when we think of the birds of the winter season, our thoughts focus on some of the less-than-colorful feeder visitors — the brown sparrows and wrens, the black and white chickadees, the drab American Goldfinches so unlike the vivid appearance they will adopt during the summer.
There’s one bird, however, that stands out in any season. The Northern Cardinal, especially the brilliant red male, looks quite dramatic against a winter backdrop of snow white, deep green or drab gray.
The Northern Cardinal belongs to a genus of birds known as Cardinalis in the family Cardinalidae. There are only two other species in this genus, and they range across North America and into northern South America.