Northern Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalis

This male Northern Cardinal overwintered at a backyard in Port aux Choix in 2005-2006 – just the second confirmed record for Newfoundland.
– Photo: Sidney Torraville

Status: Rare (Less than annual)

Origins: A resident of the eastern and southern United States, occurring regularly as close New Brunswick and (less often) Nova Scotia.

Record Details: Twenty-five records for Newfoundland. (1) The first was in Corner Brook in 1970 (the literature shows a discrepancy in dates from August to winter). (2) The second was a male that overwintered at a feeder in Port aux Choix from October 2005 – April 2006 but was only reported months later. (3) Thirdly, a female was photographed at a feeder in Heart’s Delight on the afternoon of November 19, 2012 but not seen subsequently. (4) A female was visiting a feeder in Charlottetown from October 16-24, 2015 and seen by a number of keen birders. A rash of records occurred in late 2018-early 2019: (5) Hodge’s Cove, Trinity Bay; ~November 9-10,  (6) A male at Butt’s Pond (near Benton) November 9-10, 2018 was noted as unwell and subsequently died; (7) A long-staying male at Lawn, Burin Peninsula; December 4, 2018- at least early March 2019; (8) Pouch Cove; late December 2018 – at least early March 2019: and (9) Lewin’s Cove, Burin Peninsula; January 14 – ??, 2019.

(10-24) There were an unprecedented rash of up to FIFTEEN (mostly) documented records across the island in the fall and winter of 2020! A male remained present at a feeder in St. Barbe (GNP) as late as April 8, 2021.

(25) A male was photographed in Maryland in July, 2021 (Details scarce).

There have been several unconfirmed reports, including one from near Deer Lake in July 1981 and another in Gros Morne National Park in February 2016. Details of a photograph from Stephenville Crossing in spring 2015 remain to be confirmed.

* NOTE – This website is not an official account and “may” contain incorrect information and/or details of unconfirmed records. *

7 thoughts on “Northern Cardinal

    • Its probably a long shot but put out plenty of sunflower & safflower seed. If they’re around they will come.. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have as much brushy area as possible in your yard. You can’t do any better than that. You may have a long wait but it’l be well worth it. Cardinals, as you know, are continuing to push northward, so don’t give up. You may be in for a surprise.

  1. I had a Cardinal visit my yard in late March,2016,only happened once,I keep hoping to see another,that was the first and only time I’ve seen a Cardinal,I live in Dartmouth,Nova Scotia.They are beautiful,what can I do to attract them?

  2. I was very blessed to have a bright red cardinal land on my deck, in the middle of about 15 juncos who were feeding, on Christmas morning. I was filled with total awe and joy. It left as quick as it appeared and I haven’t seen it since. I’ve never seen a cardinal in NL. I live in Freshwater, CBN.

  3. I have a male in my backyard, has been here since early November. There was a female as well, but I haven’t seen her since the males arrival. Nov 2020-Jan 2021……
    I have pics as well. I live in Codroy, on the southwest corner of Newfoundland.

    • Fantastic!! There have been about a dozen reported around Newfoundland this fall and winter — more than ever before. Very interesting. I was visiting the Codroy in late November – one pdf my favourite place to go birding 🙂

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