Budgie parakeets > Cage birds > Redbird or Cardinal Grosbeak

Redbird or Cardinal Grosbeak


This is often called the Virginia Nightingale. It is a native of most of the southern states and is one of the handsomest birds in existence, his color being a brilliant red, with a black spot around the beak and throat. He is capable of raising the tuft of feathers on his head, which gives him a rather commanding appearance. He has a very sweet, pleasant song, which sounds more like a whistle, and anyone who has kept one of these birds always regrets to part with it.

They usually live twelve to fifteen years with proper care. They are inclined to be rather wild when first changed to a new cage, but if handled carefully they soon become great pets. The female is of rich, dark brown color, and by some is considered fully equal to the male, though they are not as handsome and consequently but few are kept. They will breed in captivity. The red bird requires a good sized cage, as it is nearly as large as a mocking bird and a medium sized mocking-bird cage is ordinarily used for it.

They are also fond of meal­worms, spiders and insects. Aside from the regular food, it is a good plan to occasionally give them a small quantity of raw beef which has been grated or chopped fine, but do not give too much of this. They should be given bits of apple or boiled potato frequently, and should have a plentiful supply of gravel and fresh water, and a piece of chalk should be kept in the cage. They are bothered with very few diseases.