Nature Journal
with Photos

Northern Cardinal Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

General Information
- Large, conical bill
- Crest
- Long tail

Adult male
- Bright red plumage, dullest on back and wings
- Black around base of bill
- Red bill

Adult female
- Reddish crest, wings and tail
- Brownish-gray upperparts
- Buffy underparts
- Red bill

- Like adult female but has dark bill and crest

Similar species
The male Northern Cardinal is unmistakable. Females and juveniles are similar to Pyrrhuloxia but Pyrrhuloxia has a yellow bill with a curved culmen and is grayer, less brown.

Return to Northern Cardinal page