Northern Cardinal, male. Cardinals are about 8.5 inches long. The female is shown on the third row of the poster. The Northern Cardinal is a year-round resident throughout the eastern half of the U.S. Cardinals eat seeds, fruits and insects and they are frequent backyard feeder visitors. They feed their young primarily insects. Nests are built in dense foliage. In Wake County, pairs may raise 1 or 2 broods of 2-5 babies. Babies are born blind and mostly naked but are ready to leave the nest(fledge) in 7 – 13 days Cardinals have many calls and whistles.
Blue Jay. The Blue Jay is another year-round resident of the eastern U.S. Males and females look alike and are 11 inches long. Blue Jays eat insects, nuts (especially acorns) and fruit. They raise 1 brood per year. The 2-9 eggs take 2-3 weeks to hatch and the babies take another 2-3 weeks to fledge. Blue Jays do occasionally eat eggs and young birds of other species, but only about 1% of Blue Jays do this. Blue Jays have many calls, including one that imitates a Red Shouldered Hawk.
Eastern Towhee – At 8.5 inches, the Eastern Towhee is one of the larger members of the Sparrow family. This secretive bird scratches in leaf litter for insects and seeds. It’s song is a musical drink your tea ee ee while it’s call is a loud chewink. Nests are usually built on the ground, with 2-6 spotted and speckled eggs and 1-3 broods a season. Males and females are not identical, as the female substitutes brown feathers where the male has black.