Northern Cardinal Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    The Northern Cardinal is a fairly large, long-tailed songbird with a short, very thick bill and a prominent crest. Cardinals often sit with a hunched-over posture and with the tail pointed straight down.

    Relative Size

    Slightly smaller than an American Robin

    Relative Sizebetween sparrow and robinbetween sparrow and robin
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)
      • Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz (42-48 g)
      • Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in (25-31 cm)