Picture: © Ed Schneider
The male Northern Cardinal is perhaps responsible for
getting more people to open up a field guide than any
other bird. They're a perfect combination of familiarity,
conspicuousness, and style: a shade of red you can't
take your eyes off. Even the brown females sport a
sharp crest and warm red accents. Cardinals don't
migrate and they don't molt into a dull plumage, so
they're still breathtaking in winter's snowy backyards.
In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first
sounds of the morning.