Audubon Birds 500 piece Puzzle of the Winter Cardinal with its brilliant scarlet plumage and clear, rich song, this species is a favorite of many. Common in the eastern half of the United States, more states have adopted the Northern Cardinal as their state bird than any other. Sturdy and adaptable, these birds remain in their territory throughout the winter, even in harsh northern climates. Females build the nests in brushy areas and thickets, and the male cares for the nestings. The Northern Cardinal's varied diet includes fruit, seed, and insects, and they are easily attracted to backyard feeders with cracked corn, safflower, and sunflower seeds.