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Pyrrhuloxia - Cardinalis sinuatus



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Passeriformes 
 Family: Cardinalidae
 Genus: Cardinalis
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


PyrrhuloxiaThe 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.



mapThe pyrrhuloxia is found in southern Arizona and New Mexico and in southwestern Texas south to Mexico. It does not migrate.






PyrrhuloxiaThe pyrrhuloxia is found in thorny mesquite thickets, usually along dry desert stream and creek beds. It is also found at the edges of woodlands.


PyrrhuloxiaThe 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.

Life Cycle

PyrrhuloxiaThe female lays 2-4 eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of grass, bark, and twigs.

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 cc logo