The harm done to growing things by the cardinal is almost negligible,
15 per cent at most. To the farmer he is great value in the eradication of the
reseeding of troublesome weeds and receives high praise in putting an end
to quantities of scale insect pests.
Their general habits are the same, wherever they nest. They are not
migratory birds, being in fact so home loving that they seldom stray far from
the loyalty of their origin.
When winter releases showers of snow and sleet, the cardinal
undisturbed flames through clear sunlight and is a sign of cheer when clouds
are murky with impending rain that freezes when it falls. It nests at this
season mainly in cedars, whose dark foliage and thick boughs serve as a
screen for the gleaming red feathers, that otherwise would be a target for
The tropical growth of Florida is ideal for the cardinal. They have a
fondness for dense hammocks, such as the custard apple jungles that border
Lake Okeechobee and the thick pine woods in the northern part of the
State. Though ordinarily shy, sometimes they will nest in small towns,
making their homes in a trellis or bush not too far from a kitchen door.
The plume of feathers on the head gives the cardinal a distinct
advantage of superiority over other small birds. Male and female seem to
feel they are placed in a high position in the avian realm. They bear