The Bird Calls Radio’s Bird of the Day for Monday, Sept. 12, is the northern cardinal. The cardinal is a favorite bird of many bird lovers in New England — and well beyond to be sure.
The cardinal is a relative newcomer to New England, having expanded its range northward over the past several decades. It’s now a familiar and welcomed part of the New England landscape. Their red pops mostly against the backdrop of a freshly fallen snow in our region.
Male cardinals sport the bright red plumage year-round, while females and young have a plumage that is olive, brown, dark tannish. They are common backyard sightings and are also seen in the field.
When I did a contest through my birdwatching column, For the Birds, to find “New England’s favorite bird” the cardinal won the contest with readers of The Hour newspaper in southern Connecticut. Interestingly, Keene Sentinel readers in southern New Hampshire chose the chickadee (cardinal was second).
Cardinal, as attractive as they appear in winter, are perhaps most appreciated in the spring when their loud, clear whistled songs announce the beginning of spring.
Be sure to check out Bird Calls every Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. on WSTC/WNLK AM1400/1350 (in S. CT and nearby NY) or http://birdcallsradio.com/listen-live/ from anywhere in the world (where there’s Internet access, that is.) Thanks for checking in.