A Sister Site of Northern Michigan Birding.
Michigan Birds Checklist:

Michigan Checklist Report Board NMB Forum Sightings Database

 Northern Cardinal

Status in Michigan

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Northern Cardinal.

Use the links below to view the Northern Cardinal reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Northern Cardinal sightings.
Northern Cardinal Archives Reports
Fall 2003 373
Spring 2003 244
Winter 02-03 212
Fall 2002 90
Summer 2002 89
Spring 2002 261
Winter 01-02 145
Fall 2001 147
Summer 2001 67
Spring 2001 137
Winter 00-01 337
Fall 2000 150
Summer 2000 80
Spring 2000 90
Winter 00-99 320
Fall 1999 99
Spring/Summer 1999 14

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Northern Cardinal

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Northern Cardinal
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Northern Cardinal
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Richmondena cardinalis cardinalis (Linnaeus)
Eastern Cardinal (A.O.U. 1998: Northern Cardinal)

Permanent resident; common in the southern third of Michigan, and spreading northward; rare in the Upper Peninsula.

Since many of the earlier records of the Cardinal in Michigan may have referred to escaped birds, it is impossible to state definitely when the species first appeared there. Gibbs (1879: 487) listed the Cardinal as an "accidental visitor" in Michigan. Between 1904 and 1907 it was seen regularly in the Detroit area (Swales and Taverner, 1907: 146), and by the time of Barrows' writing (1912: 530-31) the Cardinal was known as a rather rare species in Michigan, "mainly confined to the southern half of the Lower Peninsula," but reported as far north as Beulah, Benzie County. Since that time the species has increased and spread throughout most of Michigan, and is now common in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula, where, in the Ann Arbor area, at least, it has continued to in- crease. In April, 1914, the Eastern Cardinal was reported as far north as White Lake, Muskegon County (Praeger, 1926: 379-80); on August 18, 1922, it was noted in Charlevoix County (Van Tyne, 1925: 623). The first unquestionable records for the Upper Peninsula were made in May, 1928, at McMillan, Luce County (Bryens, 1939: 102), and in November, 1929, at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (Tyrrell, 1931:131).

SUMMER.-Eggs have been reported from the second week in April to late August. Definite nest records are lacking from north of Saginaw Bay.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Ann Arbor region Van Tyne and A. S. War- thin, Jr., found a nest with 2 eggs on April 26, 1925, and other observers have discovered a number of nests in May and early June. An exceptionally late record is that of H. W. Hann, who found a nest with 3 fresh eggs on August 25, 1932. Walkinshaw noted a nest with 3 eggs near Battle Creek on April 10,1931, and in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, F. W. Rapp (1931: 25) has recorded nests from May 8 (1928, nest with 4 eggs) to June 29 (1916, nest with 3 young). Two nests have been reported from the Saginaw area: G. A. Ammann found 1 with 4 eggs on May 11, 2023 (at the Prairie Farm, Alicia), and G. B. Merely 1 with 4 young on July 17, 1934. A single bird was seen at Sand Point, Huron County, by D. W. Douglass on May 14, 1932; 1 was seen on South Manitou Island, Leelanau County, June 13, 1940, by L. D. Case and A. E. Staebler, and single birds on 3 occasions at Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, in July and August, 1934, by Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937).

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens (1939: 102) listed the Cardinal at McMillan, Luce County, on May 18, 1928; a single bird was seen in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County, on July 26, 1939, by Mrs. R. A. Hibbs (Christy, 1942: 181).

FALL AND WINTER.-Cardinals often gather in small flocks during the winter months; groups of 2 or 3 are reported in the north, and flocks of a hundred in southern counties.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 162) reported Cardinals in loose flocks; near North Cape in the Erie marsh, he saw 100 on November 27, 1937. In the Ann Arbor area, R. A. Brown saw a flock of about 30 on October 10, 2023 (N. A. Wood, 1903o; 96-97) ; A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case saw a group of 15 or 18 there on January 23, 1938. Comparatively large numbers have been re- ported on several Christmas-census counts in the southern counties: John L. George and others (1941: 120) saw 55 on December 26, 1940, near Ann Arbor; Fargo and others (1929: 46) saw 29 near Jackson on December 23, 1928; and E. M. Brigham, Jr., and others (1940: 108) saw 15 near Battle Creek on December 24. Trautman noted the species in the fall of 1938, 1939, and 1940 at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, recording a group of 5 on November 6, 1938. Mrs. F. J. Fessenden reported Cardinals in the vicinity of Charlevoix in the winter of 1937; Mrs. C. F. Erwin photo- graphed 1 at Harbor Springs, Emmet County, in the winter of 1936-37.

Upper Peninsula.-Walter P. Hill saw 2 Cardinals on Mackinac Island on January 4, 1939; Mr. and Mrs. Kelsey and Ray M. Belden reported 2 on Drummond Island, Chippewa County, during the winter of 1938-39. A Cardinal which was seen regularly during the winter of 1941-42 at Sault Ste Marie was banded by Magee on February 12, 1942.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

| Checklist Home | View | List All | Log Off |

Be sure to visit these websites for more sighting and banding counts.

Michigan Bird Records Committee Website.
MI HummerNet - WPBO - RRBO - SMRR - Saginaw Bay
Copyright 1998 Gossamer Threads Inc. Database Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.