Pyrrhuloxia

Cardinalis sinuatus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae)

Code 4

PYRR

Code 6

CARSIT

ITIS

Egg Color:

Light gray or green with brown spots and flecks



Number of Eggs:

3 - 4



Incubation Days:

14



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

5 - 15 feet above ground., In shrub or thicket.



Nest Material:

Thorny twigs, weeds, grass, and bark pieces., Lined with rootlets and fine materials.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

Pyrrhuloxia: Large cardinal-like finch with conspicuous red-tipped gray crest, gray head, back, and upperparts, red-washed face and breast, and pale gray underparts. Wings are dark gray with red edges on primaries. Tail is red. Bill is thick, crooked, and yellow. Female is duller and with less red. Juvenile has black bill with pale brown upperparts and buffy underparts. Juvenile has black bill with pale brown upperparts and buffy underparts.

Range and Habitat

Pyrrhuloxia: Found in Baja California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, southwestern Kansas, southern Colorado, western Oklahoma, and in woodland edges of northern Mexico. Relatively non-migratory, though it may occasionally stray slightly north of its usual range. Habitation includes thorny thickets, and desert brush especially along stream beds.

Breeding and Nesting

Pyrrhuloxia: Three to four light gray or green eggs with brown dots and flecks are laid in a nest made of thorny twigs, weeds, grass, and bark pieces, and lined with rootlets and fine materials. Nest is built in a shrub or thicket, 5 to 15 feet above the ground. Eggs are incubated for 14 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Pyrrhuloxia: Eats flower spikes, various fruits, berries, seeds, and insects.

Readily Eats

Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit

Vocalization

Pyrrhuloxia: Song is a varied series of rich, loud whistles "chewee, chewee, chewee, wheet, wheet, wheet." Call is a sharp, metallic "plik" or "chink."

Similar Species

Pyrrhuloxia: Northern Cardinal has red bill and is redder overall.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X