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Pyrrhuloxia Cardinalis sinuatus

   

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Pyrrhuloxia, male
credit: SearchNet Media/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/Naturesound.com (audio)

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Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals view all from this family



Description ADULT MALE Has grayish back and gray wings with red leading edge; tail is mainly red. Plumage is otherwise mostly buff-gray, but note the largely red crest and red face with color continuing down center of breast and belly. In flight, note the red underwing coverts. ADULT FEMALE Mainly buffy gray with red outer tail feathers and red leading edge to wings; tip of crest is red. JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but duller overall, and red elements of plumage are subdued or absent; bill is dark.


Dimensions Length: 7 1/2-8 1/2" (19-22 cm)


Habitat Locally common resident of desert scrub and mesquite thickets in southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.


Observation Tips Easy to see in suitable habitats, often particularly visible in winter.


Range Southwest, Texas, Southeast


Voice Song is a series of liquid, upslurred whistles: wee-p'wee- p'wee-p'wee; call is a sharp, chattering chit't't't.


Discussion Similar to Northern Cardinal and in many ways its southwestern, aridcountry counterpart. Distinguished by its largely gray upperparts with contrasting red crest, red (not black) face, and its proportionately large, rounded, stubby, and yellowish bill. Forms nomadic flocks outside the breeding season. Sometimes visits bird feeders. Sexes are separable.


 

 

 

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