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Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
Photo Information
Copyright: Mario Belanger (EOSF1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 100-400 F4-5.6 L IS USM, ISO 400, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-11-23 14:27
Viewed: 2423
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
A female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis 19-23 cm) taken in its natural environment in the wood.

From: www.birds.cornell.edu

The brilliantly colored Northern Cardinal has the record for popularity as a state bird: in the United States, it holds that title in seven states. This common bird is a winter fixture at snow-covered bird feeders throughout the Northeast, but it only spread to New York and New England in the mid-20th century.


Medium-sized songbird.
Large crest on head.
Heavy, conical red bill.
Face surrounded by black.
Male entirely brilliant red.
Female grayish-tan with red tail and wings.

Size: 21-23 cm (8-9 in)
Wingspan: 25-31 cm (10-12 in)
Weight: 42-48 g (1.48-1.69 ounces)
Sex Differences
Male brilliant red, female tan.

Song a series of clear whistles, the first down-slurred and ending in a slow trill. "Cheer, cheer, cheer, what, what, what, what." Call a sharp "chip."

Conservation Status
Population density and range increased over the last 200 years, largely as a response to habitat changes made by people. The cardinal benefits from park-like urban habitats and the presence of bird feeders. However, it is listed as a species of special concern in California and may disappear there because of habitat loss.

Other Names
Cardinal rouge (French)
Cardenal rojo, Cardenal norteño, Cardenal común (Spanish)

Cool Facts

Population density and range of the Northern Cardinal has increased over the last 200 years, largely as a response to habitat changes made by people. However, it is listed as a species of special concern in California and may disappear there because of habitat loss.

The female Northern Cardinal sings, often from the nest. The song may give the male information about when to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.

The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder.

Brighter red males hold territories with denser vegetation, feed at higher rates, and have greater reproductive success than duller males

nglen, Juyona, eqshannon, writerscrawlz, Luis52, NinaM, ramthakur, Jamesp, mariki, fartash, Maite, Alex99, undoredo, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2007-11-23 14:44]

Salut Mario,
Belle image bien nette comme toujours. J'aime particulièrement la composition avec la posture de l'oiseau.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-11-23 15:10]

Hola Mario,
perfecto trabajo,
maravilloso foco y pov,
brillantes detalles, magnífico flash,


What a pretty image of this female cardinal,
Flowing colors with a complimenting BG,
Nicely done,


You have more than your share of Cardinals up there Mario. I have not seen one for many years.....tehy still remain a highly symbolic bird....nice image M.
Votre ami dans l'ouest

Lovely image. Sharp, excellent contrasting colors, and wonderful pose. I love these little guys - they are so unusual in color. I like the females more than the males because there is more of a subtle blending of color whereas the male is red, red, and more red. Nice job, great pose.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-11-23 17:03]

Hola Mario. Bella foto. Una exelente postal mas para tu hermosa y fina coleccion de Aves. Muy hermosa la pose y gran calidad en la fotografia como siempre.
Saludos Luis52.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2007-11-23 17:13]

Bonsoir Mario, elle est très belle la photo, quelles belles couleurs et la lumière est parfaite. J'aime beaucoup le vieux morceau de bois sur lequel tient l'oiseau. Merci!


Very elegant pose of this female Cardinal, Mario.
Phenomenal sharpness and delightfully natural colors.
TFS and warm regards.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-11-23 22:58]

Hi Mario

Great pose and eye conact. Good exposure in fairly low light and spot-on focus.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-24 0:40]

Hello Mario,
Excellent photo. Great focus and sharpness. Beautiful natural colours. Very good POV and composition. Wonderful environment.

Hello Mario,

Nice composition. Focus is good. Beautiful natural colours.

Hello Mario
Excellent shot of this Northern Cardinal,
Perfect focusing,exposure and composition,
Superb shot,Welldone.

Have a nice weekend

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-11-24 2:19]

Hello Mario
What a great capture of this beautiful cardinal!! Excellent focus with great sharpness and DOF, very good lightning and a marvellous composition.
Congratulations and TFS

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-11-24 2:34]

Beautiful photo Mario.
You are so good at photography that it's mind-blowing! I hope to some day be able to take photos like you :)
Just perfect once again: Amazing sharpness, a tonne of detail, excellent clarity, superb composition, fantastic POV, great colours, perfect lighting, excellent DOF, great BG... "Breath" ... perfect framing that brings out this Cardinal's colours, great pose, very informative notes and finally I love the patterns and texture in the wood.
I am stunned.
My very best regards,
Joe :)

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-11-24 4:02]

Hi Mario.
This is next your terrific shot. The subject is simply fairy-tale. Very impressive dark key of picture execution, amazing mysterious color palette. Superb 3D-effect created by combination of extra-sharp bird image and smooth rich BG. Bravo. Well done.

Superbe composition : l'oiseau est bien placé sur l'image et très net.

Hi Mario,
Very sharp,beautiful,congratulation.
Best regards,

Very good work, Mario.
Bird is photographed very well as well as its habitat.
Like the colours!
Well done

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-11-24 7:32]

Hi Mario.This is a nice one as you say in its natural environment. The lighting is spot on giving good natural colours. your sharp focusing and fine detail show all the feathers so well. a nice POV. well done TFS.

Have a good weekend my friend.

Bonjour mon cher Mario, que dire sinon que cette image est absolument splendide,
les couleurs sont extraordinaires et le cardinal de détache très bien du background, la pose plongeante donne beaucoup de relief a cette très belle photo,

Even though her coloring is more subtle than the male you posted today, I think the female cardinal is quite beautiful. Your presentation with that fantastic light on her makes her even more stunning. Super work

Evelynn : )

Dear Mario,
Very beautiful shot of this Northern Cardinal you present here. You've captured very nice pose, with superb focusing and details as usual. :)
Also, I personally love this POV very much.
Well presented with lovely natural colours and nice composition as well.
Thanks for the sharing your lovely photos.
Warm regards,
PS: I apprecicate that you've selected my Blue Jay as a favorite.

Bonjour Mario,

Une bonne prise de vue de ce cardinal sur la branche la photo a une bonne composition, netteté et de jolies couleurs. Bonne journée.


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