Thanks to their bright red color, you probably know a cardinal when you see one. They are one of the few red birds we see in our area, but it’s only the males that are red. Female cardinals look similar to males, but they are a pale brown color instead of red. The females do have some flashes of red, though. Their beaks are red, and they have reddish tinges in their crests, wings and tails.
The cardinal is the state bird of Illinois, but we aren’t alone in loving these red birds. Six other states also chose the cardinal as their state bird: Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
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A female (left) and male cardinal. (Photo via Shutterstock)