A northern cardinal perched in a common winterberry bush in Marion County
A splash of color

Northern cardinal in winterberry bush

This scarlet winterberry shrub is the perfect hiding place for the northern cardinal. What better spot for singing in the winter holidays? Winterberry is a deciduous holly that's native to North America and can be a modest shrub or a tree reaching up to 15 feet. The yellow and green flower clusters that bloom in spring give way to bright red berries in winter.

Cardinals winter in the eastern US, brightening the dreary winter months with flashes of bold scarlet. It's only the male cardinal that sports the crimson plumage. Female cardinals are mostly light brown, with a bit of red. Some people believe sighting a cardinal is good luck or a message of support from a lost loved one.