Pyrrhuloxia - Cardinalis sinuatus
The pyrrhuloxia looks similar to the northern cardinal. It is 7-8 inches in length.
The male is gray with a rosy red breast, red wings and tail, a red crest, and a red face.
The female looks similar, but she is a little paler and lacks the red breast and face.
The pyrrhuloxia has a thick, yellow parrot-like bill that is uses to crack open seeds.
The pyrrhuloxia is found in southern Arizona and New Mexico and in southwestern Texas south to Mexico. It does not migrate.
The pyrrhuloxia forages on the ground for the seeds of grasses, weeds, and mesquite; cactus fruit; and cottonwood catkins. In the summer, it also eats insects. It uses its powerful bill to crack open and crush seeds.
The nest is placed in a dense, thorny bush. The female incubates the eggs for about two weeks.
During courtship and incubation, the male brings the female food.
The chicks fledge in about 10 days, and both the male and female care for the young.
Pyrrhuloxia are nonmigratory, but they sometimes stray from their territories. In the winter, they may forage for food in huge flocks containing hundreds of birds.
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Andrew Spencer