Virginia State Bird – Virginia’s Silent Wonder

It is impossible to miss the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) in Northern Virginia State thanks to its striking red plumage, its deep orange beak, and its crest, which resembles a well-groomed mohawk. The Virginia State Bird, the Northern Cardinal, is a prominent symbol of the region’s wildlife. As part of Yolanda Villacampa’s Virginia State bird symbol program series, I went to the Long Branch Nature Center on Sunday, March 24, 2019, with the part-time Arlington County Park Naturalist in order to learn more about this bird.

Observing Cardinal Sounds

We paid close attention to a recording of the cardinal’s several sounds before starting out on the walk from Long Branch Nature Center to Glencarlyn Park so that we might recognize the bird by ear.

Listening to Cardinal Duets

To hear the calls and answers of both male and female Northern Cardinals, click this link.

Binocular Training

We also got a brief lesson on how to focus our binoculars and silently notify other members of the group when we spotted a bird.

Using Field Guides

We also learned how to use a field guide to identify other species that we were likely to encounter on the route.

Sightings on the Walk

We heard multiple Northern Cardinal duets and saw one male Northern Cardinal while on our walk. Two Downy Woodpeckers (Dryobates pubescens) and three White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) were also observed and recognized. A single White-breasted Nuthatch was swinging its wings and swinging back and forth, protecting its territory on a nearby branch from a squirrel.

Distinctive Features of Northern Cardinals

Northern cardinals are easily recognized by their unique look and song, which includes the whistle calls “whit-chew whit-chew,” “purty purty purty,” and “cheer cheer cheer.” Although few female songbird species sing in North America, both the male and female sing. The female cardinal has crimson wings and is buffy-brown, while the male is dazzling scarlet red. Both have a jet-black mask, a prominent crest, and a large bill. The male cardinal fiercely guards his 4-acre area and sings almost all year round.

Male Cardinals’ Behavior

Male cardinals have been observed attacking little red objects that they believe to be other males. Every season, northern cardinals breed two or three times. While the male brings food, the female constructs the nest and cares for the hatchlings for roughly ten days. After then, the female moves on to a new nest and lays a second clutch of eggs, and the male takes care of this initial brood.

Are the Virginia Birds an Endangered Species?

It’s nearly hard to watch TV and not hear it. Furthermore, we have every reason to worry about our dear friends as bird enthusiasts. Most Virgia state birds are familiar To others .Based on certain research, people’s passion for birding is mostly due to this species of bird. For those who do not know, this bird is a migratory species that occurs throughout North America. It is primarily recognized for whistling and having a pronounced look. We wonder if these birds are secure because we love them so much.

The Virginia State have an endangered species designation?

Conversely, these birds are multiplying and dispersing outside of their native range. And the main reasons for this are their capacity for adaptation and the availability of food, particularly in the winter. As things stand, there is very little likelihood that this treasured species will be classified as endangered or threatened.

Before being classified as endangered, the current global population of Northern Cardinals must decline by at least thirty percent over the course of the next ten years, or across three generations. The Northern Cardinal is protected in both the United States and Canada, despite their present listing on the IUCN list.

It is forbidden to own cardinals in the US and Canada, in contrast to Europe, where they are housed in birdhouses. The sale of this species as caged birds is forbidden in the US by the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Furthermore, it is illegal for anybody in the US to hunt, buy, possess, or kill Northern Cardinals. It may be necessary for anyone who wish to retain Northern Cardinals to obtain a wildlife rehabilitator license from the relevant state or locality.

Bird Facts for Virginia State

  1. Female songbirds in North America aren’t primarily recognized for their singing. Female cardinals most definitely do not fit that description. They sing to get through to the male cardinals. They will occasionally sing to the male to alert him to the need to find food when he is getting close to the nest. In fact, they use song phrases to communicate amongst themselves. Compared to male cardinals, female cardinals typically generate notes that are a little more complex.
  2. It is common to witness Cardinals attempting to resist their reflection in the spring. They will dash headlong toward an automobile if they catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror. This is a result of their springtime obsession with defending their domain. They lack good judgment and see danger in everyone around them. The Cardinals will not allow a threat to pass through their territory, be it human or another kind of bird.
  3. As summer approaches, the Cardinals’ hostile demeanor decreases. Their body’s hormones stabilize, and they stop being as aggressive. On the other hand, there have been cases where cardinals have not taken a break from their excessive conduct for six months.

Virginia State bird Male and Female Feeding

Birds of Illinois

The cardinal was chosen as Illinois’ State Bird in 1928 by students in Illinois schools. In 1929, the General Assembly formally recognized that appellation.

Birds of Indiana

The 1933 General Assembly designated the cardinal as Indiana’s State Bird (Indiana Code 1-2-8).

The Kentucky Birds

During the 1926 legislative session, the Cardinal was designated as the State Bird of Kentucky [KY Acts, Chapter 350, Senate Resolution No. 17; recodified in 1942 (KRS 2.080)].

The Ohio Birds

According to Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions,  State Insignia: 5.03. Official State Bird, the Cardinal was named the state bird of Ohio.

What Do Virginia State Bird Eat?

Virginia State Birds are omnivores, which mean they consume both vegetables and meat. A northern cardinal’s primary food consists of fruits and seeds found in its natural habitat. These birds feed on wild grasses, buckwheat, corn, blackberries, and mulberries in Virginia.

They also consume insects, to mention just three: centipedes, flies, and crickets. The Virginia state bird also likes birdseed from feeders. Cardinalis can easily eat sunflower seeds. But they also like black sunflower seeds as well. Cardinalis  will feed from feeders and other garden birds.


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