Archive for November 25, 2011

Northern Cardinal on the Waits River

I spotted a few cardinals enjoying some very mild November weather last weekend while kayaking on the Waits River in Bradford, Vermont.

“The Northern Cardinal is an abundant bird of our southern states. It has been expanding its range northward. In the 1920s, Forbush knew of a few year-round cardinals “as far north as the region about New York City.” In Vermont, a sighting was recorded at Wells River in 1933. It wasn’t until the 1960 Christmas Bird Count that the next sightings were recorded – three that winter. By the time of the first breeding bird atlas in Vermont (c.1980), the cardinal had expanded its breeding range along the river valleys.The cardinal is not abundant in Vermont, although it is common. It is non-migratory. A pair tends to stay on or near its territory throughout the year, while younger birds may flock together. The pair bond relaxes during the early months of winter, then renews in late winter and early spring as the male and female sing together and feed together. The female is as accomplished a vocalist as the male, something that is rare in the bird world and which doubles the pleasure of their human audience.”    -Chris Petrak   Tails of Birding


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