What Is The State Bird Of Indiana? All Facts Explained

State Bird Of Indiana

Indiana has a different mixture of forests and hills in the southern part. Like any other state, Indiana also has a state bird but what is it? 

Northern Cardinals is the official state bird of Indiana. Indiana got its state bird in 1933. This songbird has vibrant crimson red feathers and they prefer forested lands and open areas for their habitat.

However, there are many other facts related to it. And In this article, I’ll explain all the facts related to the state bird of Indiana. 

Why did Indiana choose Northern Cardinal as their state bird?

The Northern Cardinals usually spend their whole year in Indiana. They nest in bramble thickets or low saplings and consume garden insects and weed seeds.

This makes them valuable to the people of Indiana. Therefore, Indiana chose this bird as their state bird. 

When did the Northern Cardinal become the state bird of Indiana?

Until 1933, Indiana didn’t have its official state bird but in March 1933, the Indiana General Assembly passed the legislation declaring the Northern Cardinal as their state bird.

Now, Indiana shared its state bird with Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. 

What does the Northern Cardinal look like?

The male Northern Cardinal has vibrant red feathers while the female Cardinals have reddish-brown hue feathers. The male birds are a little larger than females but they are not much larger.

Apart from this, both male and female cardinals are similar to each other physically. The chest and upper area of these birds are grey but their stomach area is white or light grey. 

You will notice a black bill that also features a brown shade at the base. The length of the North Cardinal birds is between eight to nine inches and they have a wingspan of 10 to 12 inches. When comes to the weight of these birds, is between 1.4 to 1.7 ounces. 

What Kind Of Behaviour Does Cardinal Show?

The Northern Cardinals generally thrive in shrubbery in the wild. The habitat of these birds differs slightly in Indiana. They usually prefer woodlands, thickets, fence rows, and brushy fields.

Northern Cardinals also love cities and state parks. The lifespan of the Northern Cardinals is generally 13 to 15 years.

During their lifespan, they mate and build nests with their partner. They sing if they want to communicate with their partner. 

The mother cardinal stays in the nest and incubates the eggs for about 11 to 13 days. On the other hand, the father bird collects food and brings it to the home.

When the eggs hatch, the mother bird stays with its babies to provide care and safety and the father bird continues to forage for food but now in more quantity. 

The sounds like purty-purty-purty or cheer-cheer-cheer are used by a couple of cardinals to stay in touch with each other when they get separated.

Baby birds require a lot of protection and care because they are not born with full feathers and cannot fly. This implies that when a predator approaches the nest, the mother bird protects their babies and herself from it.

The couple stays in touch with the sound during the dangerous time. This is the reason that female cardinals are less seen in the yard and male birds are seen near feeders. 

Do Northern Cardinals form Communities?

Cardinals live similarly to mockingbirds. They form a tightly knit family and marriage which these birds protect fiercely. These birds can fight to the death to protect their home and family.

If the cardinals sense a predator they fight for their territory. Therefore, one should never approach a cardinal’s nest or allow pets or children near to the nest.

The cardinals can attack in response to defending their territory. If a male cardinal enters any occupied breeding territory, it can fight with its species. 

Cardinals sometimes even attack their own reflection in a window or mirrored glass thinking it is a predator.

The birds don’t know that the glass is their reflection. They just attack by thinking it is another cardinal and fights with it. 

What do Northern Cardinals eat?

The diet of the Northern Cardinals is very diversified and generally, they have an omnivorous diet. But the Northern Cardinals that are native to Indiana have a different diet as compared to Ohio and NC.

These Indiana birds consume insects which make up 30 percent of their diet and the rest of their diet consists of weed seeds, grains, and fruits.

They enjoy berries, raisins, or any other fruits. If you want to attract these birds to your yard, you can offer food like sunflower seeds, peanut pieces, fresh berries, cracked corn, fruits, grains, greens, and seeds to the bird feeders. 


The state bird of Indiana is Northern Cardinal which prefers the omnivorous diet including insects, weeds, grains, and fruits. In 1933, Indiana got their state bird through the legislation.

This bird was chosen by Indiana because these birds regulate the number of insects and weed seeds in this state.

At last, I hope this article might have helped you in some ways. Thank You For Reading!

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