You probably know what a cardinal is. You’ve probably seen them a lot and heard them a lot. They are pretty, noisy, territorial, non-migrating, songbirds with thick seed-crackin beaks and bold crests. They look great in the snow in front of a spruce or something.
They live in woodlands, swamps, and yards in the eastern US and down through Mexico. There are four subspecies in the US, one of which, found in the eastern part of the cardinal’s range, is Cardinalis cardinalis cardinalis (!). They are monogamous with both males and females singing and sticking together year round.1
POWERFACT!: Folks have recorded sightings of rare half-male half-female cardinals (gynandromorphs). They look really cool.
References: National Geographic