Sunday, March 05, 2017
It was eight degrees outside my window this morning.
Eight degrees, but the sun was shining. This vibrant red bird found a sunny spot in the quince bush.
The northern cardinal was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae. It was initially included in the genus Loxia, which now contains only crossbills. In 1838, it was placed in the genus Cardinalis and given the scientific name Cardinalis virginianus, which means "Virginia cardinal". In 1918, the scientific name was changed to Richmondena cardinalis to honor Charles Wallace Richmond, an American ornithologist. In 1983, the scientific name was changed again to Cardinalis cardinalis and the common name was changed to "northern cardinal", to avoid confusion with the seven other species also termed cardinals.
What a glorious red color!