Cardinals are about 20–23 cm (9.8–12 in) in length with the male being slightly larger. The male is a brilliant red with a black mask over the eyes and extending downward onto the throat. The female is tan with red overtones. Both genders have red crests.
Forests, wooded suburban yards and parks, shrublands and swamps.
Cardinals are one of the birds that may be expanding their range northward following human population increases and taking advantage of feeding stations that people put out for them, especially in winter.