The Northern Cardinal is perhaps the most recognizable bird to be seen in Celebration.
The bright red color stands out against the evergreen landscape making it easy to spot.
It is exclusively an American bird, an exciting observation for nature lovers visiting Celebration from around the world. The Cardinal, like many southern specialty birds, is in the midst of a range expansion bringing it as far west as Arizona and as far north as southern Canada. It is abundant in Florida.
The first bird sound you are likely to hear at dawn is the repetitive “chip” of the Cardinal. During nesting season this is replaced by a simple “cheer, cheer, cheer” song. In Florida, given its warm extended summer, the Cardinal often breeds twice each year.
The Northern Cardinal is non-migratory. It is fully adapted to the presence of people, nesting in shrubs around the community. They will readily visit backyard bird feeders filled with sunflower seed, a favorite treat.
The Cardinal is often associated with Christmas, making it a familiar illustration for holiday cards and wildlife calendars.
Two professional sports franchises use the bird’s image as it team logo. The St. Louis Cardinals a Major League Baseball team and the Arizona Cardinals a National Football League team.
The sighting of the brilliant ”Red Bird” in Celebration is a daily experience, whether walking around town, out on the golf course or just hanging out in your back yard.
Its cheerful call enhances the morning walk.
By Chet Blazak
The above article appears in the December 2019 edition of the Celebration News