I know a lady that has cardinals an hours drive from me. She has some babies ready to go out on their own.  I would like to have a female cardinal. Could I do that if she were to catch one. I have a male cardinal that comes here every spring but never stays. I have a lot of other birds here.  How long would I have to keep it caged here before I released it as I want it to stay in this area?

It is against Federal Law to harass, keep, or harm, in any way, all birds. You cannot catch a bird or keep one in captivity for any amount of time without a federal permit (like bird rehab centers do.) Besides, unless you are an experienced bird keeper, you will not be able to raise a cardinal. Please, just let nature take its course and leave the birds be.
Even if it were legal, bringing a female to your area where a male cardinal passes through will not keep that male around.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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