1. Though the males are bright red year-round, cardinals can be hard to spot. They prefer to hang out in dense shrubs, and then tangled branches block the view of their feathers. Still, you can know if a cardinal is near by listening for their metallic, piercing chip notes of their song.
2. Cardinals are very territorial and males will defend their zone from intruders — or even reflections. This is why you may have experienced a male cardinal attacking a window or mirror. The males, and even sometimes females during breeding season, will attack what they think is an intruder, but really it’s their own reflection.
3. The cardinal is such a beloved bird that it has been named the state bird of seven states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. It is also the mascot for countless sports teams.