photo by Phil Swanson
L 8 3/4″ (22 cm).
Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Variable loud, liquid “cue cue cue,” “cheer cheer cheer,” and “purty purty purty.”
Description: Conspicuous crest, and large, cone-shaped reddish bill. Male is bright red overall with a black face and throat. Female is buffy-brown to buffy-olive and has a red tinge on wings, crest, and tail. Juvenile is similar to female but browner overall and has a dark brown bill.
Behavior: Both sexes sing almost year round.
Habitat: Forest edges, brushy forest openings, parks and residential areas with shrubs and low trees, second-growth woods, and riparian forests.
Where in Nebraska: Common permanent resident in eastern Nebraska, becoming uncommon to occasional westwardly. Apparently absent from the western Sandhills and the Pine Ridge area.
Fun Facts: Northern Cardinals are the only species in Nebraska with a red beak and both the male and the female sing (unlike most songbirds).