CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Even though this guy was trying to hide in the elderberry, the males are hard to miss with their bright red feathers. Ladies are a bit more subdued with a reddish brown coloring.
Diet: mainly seeds and fruit. Insects are also a part of the diet and nestlings REQUIRE insects.
Easily attracted to bird feeders (especially if sunflower seeds are provided), but why bother when you can provide natural food from your native plant garden. Personal feeding experience: Bidens alba, bluestem grasses, elderberry, muscadine grape, winged sumac, beautyberry, blackberry, bayberry and more.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN ELDER; ELDERBERRY (Sambucus nigra L. subsp. canadensis)