Wildlife at Meadowood

A picture of a male CardinalThe Northern Cardinal is such a beautiful and popular bird that Virginia has officially designated it as the state bird.  This red bird is a common sight at Meadowood.  The male of the species is an unmistakeable vermillion red.  The female is grayish-tan with reddish highlights on her wings and tail.  The conical red-orange beak of both is surrounded in black and the head is topped with a large crest.  They stand 8-9 inches tall, and have a 10 to 12 inch wingspan to support their average 1- 1/2 -ounce weight while in flight.   It is also known by the names "red bird" and "Virginia nightingale." The first bird heard singing on a warm summer morning is likely that of the cardinal.  Cardinals eat insects, fruit, grains, weed seeds and maple sap.  Cardinals breed from late March to early August, with May being peek breeding season.