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What is a Cardinal Bird?

Cardinal birds are a species of bird typically found in North and South America. They are generally found in the woodlands but can also be found in many back yards. It has a very strong bill used to eat seeds which make up the majority of its diet. The male Northern Cardinal is well known for its brilliant red crest. To learn more about cardinals, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by Experts.

Can a vet legally euthanize a cardinal that has been injured by a cat?

Many times a person may find an injured bird and wish to help. While having a kind heart is always appreciated, aiding a wild animal may actually cause more harm than good. If a person finds a bird that has an injury that isn't life threatening, it may be best to leave the bird in the wild. Usually a bird may go into shock following an attack but will eventually recover. By intervening, a person may cause further shock which may lessen the bird's chance for survival. As for a life threatening injury, a veterinarian may choose to euthanize the bird. The bird could possibly go to a wild animal sanctuary after treatment.

What is the life expectancy of a Northern Cardinal and what special dietary needs do they have (vitamins, etc.)?

It may be hard to determine an actual life span for a cardinal in the wild. However, there have been reports that claim the cardinal may live close to 30 years. Of course, this would have to be in captivity due to the many adversities faced in the wild. Furthermore, the bird's lifespan may increase by ensuring a healthy diet. As for food, a wild cardinal would probably forage for insects and berries. A cardinal in captivity may be offered wild bird seed and pellet feed with a small amount of fruit as treats.

If a person has a cardinal and wishes to keep the bird in captivity, he/she may want to learn the state law on keeping a wild bird. Many states have laws or regulations regarding wild animals being kept in captivity. Some states may allow a person to keep a wild animal but may require the person to have a permit.

Where to take a young cardinal with a broken wing?

Contact a veterinarian, they will know what to do with the wing and if it is treatable. If it is badly injured, euthanasia may be best. However, a simple wing splint may do the trick. If it is illegal in your state to keep a wild bird, then there are many wildlife rehabilitation centers available. The people at the wildlife rehab are trained to treat and care for injured or orphaned wildlife.

What can be done for a cardinal that has injured itself by flying into a window?

While a wildlife specialist may suggest that the person not interfere, however, if it is not possible to leave it alone there are a couple of things one may do. First, if the cardinal is in immediate danger, the person may bring the bird indoors. Of course the cardinal will require a dry quiet area. Many people use a box that can be covered with air vents/holes. Once the bird has had time to recover from the shock, offer food and water. It is best to avoid handling it. Continuous handling may cause it to remain in a stressed condition. If it is stressed it may try to fly further injuring itself. Next, contact a vet or the Wildlife Rehab center as stated above.

Cardinals are often considered one of the favorite wild birds at the backyard feeder. The bright red feathers of the male are very striking during the snowy winter months. Many questions arise about the cardinal and its color. If a person has questions regarding the cardinal, ask an Expert for avian insight.

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