Northern Cardinal Is The State Bird Of Illinois. Illinois schoolchildren selected the cardinal as the State Bird of Illinois, made official in 1929 by the Illinois General Assembly. The Macomb branch of the National Federation of Professional Women’s Clubs urged that Illinois schoolchildren select a State Bird In 1928. The idea Illinois State Bird was approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Bird Cardinals is in the family of Cardinalidae, are passerine birds found in North and South America. State Bird Of Illinois 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 (previously placed in Emberizidae). 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 Illinois 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. Illinois State Bird Cardinals live in Illinois 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 Illinois Cardinals makes their loose, cup-shaped nest in shrubs, bushes, and thickets. The nest is usually placed from three to 20 feet above the ground. The female lays two to five pale, blue-white eggs. The eggs have red-brown speckles. Cardinals can raise more than one brood in a year. The Illinois State Bird cardinal feeds on insects, grains, fruits, and seeds. Both the male and female Cardinals sing. Its songs include “witches, cheer, cheer, cheer” and “birdy, birdy, birdy.”
The male State Bird cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male Cardinal sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder. A perennial favorite among people, the Northern Cardinal is the state bird of seven states. The oldest recorded Northern Cardinal was a female and was 15 years, 9 months old when she was found in Pennsylvania.