No…not the football team, but rather the wonderfully bright red bird known as the Northern Cardinal. Although not a common sight here in Arizona, the Northern Cardinal can be found with a little patience. When you see one, you’ll usually stop what you’re doing and stare for a while. Their brilliant coloring makes them stand out against the usually dull browns and muted greens of the Arizona landscape.
The contrasting black mask on their faces makes them an unforgettable presence. They can be found throughout much of the east, Midwest and south. Their habitat in Arizona is somewhat more limited to mainly to the central and southern parts of the state. They are a popular bird with backyard birders, and love sunflower seeds if you ever want to try to attract them to your feeder. As a matter of fact, all the photographs in this article were taken in my backyard.
Given their wide ranging habitat, they have been named the official state bird of seven states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia) – more than any other bird. For more information on Northern Cardinals, here’s a link to a wonderful description of these colorful birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/id.
And, as for the Arizona Cardinals football team, the name originated when the team was founded in Chicago early in the 1920s, followed it when the team moved to St. Louis, and finally when they moved to Arizona in 1988.
Click on any of the photographs below to enlarge the image.