Ohio State Bird - Cardinal



(Cardinalis cardinalis)
Adopted in 1933.

Ohio adopted the cardinal as its official bird in 1933. A permanent resident of Ohio, the cardinal is known for its clear, strong song and brilliant plumage. The bird, Cardinalis cardinalis, commonly known as the "cardinal," is the official bird of the state.

The northern cardinal is also the state bird for six other states. These are Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Cardinal is sometimes called the Winter Redbird because it is most noticeable during the winter when it is the only "redbird" present. Tthe Cardinal is one of the most common birds in our gardens, meadows, and woodlands. The male Cardinal is red all over, except for the area of its throat and the region around its bill which is black; it is about the size of a Catbird only with a longer tail. The head is conspicuously crested and the large stout bill is red. The female is much duller in color with the red confined mostly to the crest, wings, and tail. This difference in coloring is common among many birds. Since it is the female that sits on the nest, her coloring must blend more with her natural surroundings to protect her eggs and young from predators. There are no seasonal changes in her plumage.

The Cardinal is a fine singer, and what is unusual is that the female sings as beautifully as the male. The male generally monopolizes the art of song in the bird world.

The nest of the Cardinal is rather an untidy affair built of weed stems, grass and similar materials in low shrubs, small trees or bunches of briars, generally not over four feet above the ground. The usual number of eggs set is four in this State.

The Cardinal is by nature a seed eater, but he does not dislike small fruits and insects.

Ohio Revised Code for our state bird: 5.03 Official state bird The bird, Cardinalis cardinalis, commonly known as the "cardinal," is the official bird of the state. (1953 H 1, eff. 10-1-53; GC 29-1)  

Kingdom Animalia -- animals
   Phylum Chordata -- chordates
      Subphylum Vertebrata -- vertebrates
         Class Aves -- birds
            Order Passeriformes -- perching birds
               Family Fringillidae -- buntings, finches, grosbeaks, old world finches, sparrows
                  Genus Cardinalis Bonaparte, 1838 -- cardinals
                     Species Cardinalis cardinalis (Linnaeus, 1758) -- Cardenal rojo, northern cardinal