Cardinal Red

In winter, where colors are subdued, the tropical-like bounty of the Northern Cardinal male comes as a pleasing fillip to the eye. I’ve seen Europeans in Central Park bowled over by this extravagant bird, as well they should be. Cardinals has been expanding their range northward since the nineteenth century. Especially since the 1940s and 1950s, they’ve become fairly common in New York. Factors for this expansion include warmer winters and less snow-covered ground, more bird-feeders and edge habitat, and the banning of the hunting of songbirds in 1918 (the bright males made conspicuous targets for the slaughtering-kind).

Hey, if you’re in NYC, there are two very interesting presentations at the Linnaean Society of NY tonight.

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