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The red-crested cardinal (Paroaria coronata) is a songbird This species belonging to the family of the tanagers (Thraupidae).[2] Notwithstanding its similar name, this bird is not closely related to the true cardinal family (Cardinalidae).

Red-crested cardinal
Paroaria coronata -Koke'e State Park, Hawaii, USA-8.jpg
At Koke'e State Park, Hawaii
Song of Red-crested Cardinal
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Paroaria
P. coronata
Binomial name
Paroaria coronata
(Miller, 1776)



The genus name Paroaria comes from a Brazil's indigenous Tupí people and can be translated as “small red, yellow, and gray bird“, while the Latin species name coronata means crowned. [2]


This species can be found mainly in northern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul and southern part of the Pantanal. [1][2]

It has also been introduced to Hawaii and Puerto Rico. In Brazil, it has been introduced to various places outside its historical range, as in the Tietê Ecological Park in São Paulo. [3]


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and heavily degraded former forest, at an elevation up to 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level. [1] It often occurs close to rivers, marshes and lakes. [2]


Paroaria coronata is a medium sized species showing a red head, with a red bib and a very short red crest, that is not visible except in excited birds. Belly, breast and undertail are white, with a gray back, wings, and tail. Wing coverts are gray, but the primaries, secondaries, and rectrices show a darker gray color. Juveniles are similar to the adults, but they show a dull brownish orange head and bib.[2]

This species is very similar-looking to the close relative, the red-cowled cardinal (P. dominicana). It is also rather similar to the yellow-billed cardinal (P. capitata), but in the case of the latter, it is present a black throat, darker upper parts and a bright yellow bill. [2]


This species mainly feed on seeds (of Chloris virgata, Eleusine tristachya, Setaria parviflora and Spergula villosa), fruits (of Celtis tala, Grabowskia duplicata, Holmbergia tweedii, Morus alba, and Sapium haematospermum), insects and small arthropods, generally searched on the ground in pairs or small groups.[2] Generation length reaches about 3.8 years.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d BirdLife International (2012). "Paroaria coronata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Schulenberg, T.S. (2010). "Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata), Neotropical Birds Online". Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:. Ithaca, NY.
  3. ^ Parque Ecológico do Tietê

External linksEdit