Red-crested Cardinal

Cardinal fans, beware. This is not a cardinal.

By: Jerry Poindexter

The red-crested cardinal (Paroaria coronata) is a songbird that does not actually belong to the cardinal family. It is a member of the tanager species instead. It is a medium-sized bird, measuring between 7 to 7¾ inches in length. Its body shape is similar to the Northern cardinal. The red-crested cardinal obviously gets its name from the bright red head and crest. The species is native to South America but has been seen in Puerto Rico and Hawaii feeding on seeds, berries, and insects.

The reference for the pattern and painting notes is from study skins provided by the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University in Tempe.


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