Northern Cardinal Is The Official State Bird Of West Virginia. West Virginia Adopted the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) as the official state bird in 1949. College Students, Garden Clubs, Sportsmen Clubs, and Bird study groups helped to officially name the cardinal as the West Virginia State Bird. The northern cardinal was in competition with ten other birds including the American robin, and the bluebird, but won by more than 11,000 votes. The State Bird Cardinals are in the family of Cardinalidae.
State Bird Of West Virginia Cardinals is also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings. The South American cardinals in the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae. The State Bird male cardinal is bright red with black around the beak and eyes and The female is pale gray-brown with a faint red tinge. Both West Virginia State Bird male and female can be identified by the large, pointed crest on the head. A cardinal has a thick beak, too. The average length of an adult cardinal is about eight inches.
West Virginia State Bird Cardinals live in West Virginia all year. It is a beautiful sight to see a bright red cardinal against a snowy background in winter. They live in forest edges, thickets, parks, gardens, and suburban areas. Cardinals are even found in our large cities. In spring, the female and male work together to build the nest of grasses, bark, vines, sticks and other plant materials. State Bird Of West Virginia Cardinals makes their loose, cup-shaped nest in shrubs, bushes, and thickets. The nest of Northern Cardinal is usually placed from three to 20 feet above the ground. The female Cardinal lays two to five pale, blue-white eggs. The eggs have red-brown speckles. Northern Cardinals can raise more than one brood in a year.
Identification General description:
Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals
Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
Size: 8 – 9 inches
Diet: Primarily insects, but also seeds & fruit
Habitat: Woodland edges, thickets, suburban gardens, towns, swamps
Color: Male cardinals are bright red, with a black face and chin. Females are gray-brown on the back, light tan on the breast, with bright pink highlights on the wings, tail, and crest. A female cardinal’s bill is bright orange-red
Range: Resident in eastern and central North America. Populations have spread to the west coast as well
Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
Longevity Record: 15 Years and 9 months (according to USGS Bird Banding Lab)