In honor of National Bird Day, we are highlighting one of our favorite winter birds that frequents the farm.
They don’t need much highlighting, the Northern Cardinal stands out on his own against the white, gray, and brown of a New England winter!
Cardinals are year round residents in Massachusetts. Their powerful beaks crack open tough seeds to help them survive the coldest months of Western Mass. When it isn’t below freezing and food is more available… they eat a mixture of insects, plant buds, seeds, and fruits.
While the male Northern Cardinal stands out with his bright plumage and pointed crest, the female is more subdued in color. She wears a pale tan and brown with rosy accents. Both male and female have a bright orange bill.
The Northern Cardinal typically retains the same mate from one season to another and stay together during the winter months. Many other birds flock together in the more difficult winter months but Cardinals keep to themselves.
Once a rare bird in any season in New England, the increasing popularity of backyard bird feeders and the rise of suburbia have allowed cardinals to become common year-round in Massachusetts over the past fifty years.
Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery offers a warm and comfortable place to view more winter birds like white throated sparrows, cedar waxwings, black capped chickadees, and the occasional bald eagle sighting.
This information comes from the Mass Audubon website. You can learn more about the Northern Cardinal and other Massachusetts winter birds on their website.