Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cardinal (bird), any bird of either species of the American genus Cardinalis, allied to the grosbeak (q.v.), but distinguished therefrom by the slightly bulging bill. The name is given by dealers to some allied species, though often confined to C. virginianus, the Cardinal finch, about the size of a starling. Americans are enthusiastic about its powers of song, and call it the Virginian nightingale. The male has brilliant red plumage (except round the bill and on the throat, where there is a tinge of black), and a conical erectile crest; the hen is rusty-brown.