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The Cardinal

The cardinal is the state bird of West Virginia and it is an inhabitant of the Laurel Lake area. The cardinal measures 7 to 9 inches long. It has a crest of feathers on its head that is used for protection when it is threatened.

Cardinals have a black marking about the eyes that resembles a mask. The male is bright red in color and the female is a brownish color. Both have bright orange beaks.

The female cardinal builds a nest 4 to 5 feet above the ground in dense shrubbery. The female lays 3 to 4 eggs in the nest. The female sits on the nest and the male gathers food for the female while she incubates the eggs. Eggs hatch in 12 to 13 days.

Cardinals feed near the ground mostly on seeds, although insects are eaten during breeding seasons. Cardinals are birds with tremendous singing capability.