Desert cardinals eating possumhaw holly berries in Starr County, Texas

Desert Cardinals or Pyrrhuloxia

The Pyrrhuloxia or Desert Cardinal (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a medium-sized North American song bird found in the American southwest and northern Mexico. This distinctive species with a short, stout bill, red crest and wings, closely resembles the Northern Cardinal and the Vermilion Cardinal, all of which are in the same genus.

Desert cardinals eating possumhaw holly berries in Starr County, Texas

Desert cardinals eating possumhaw holly berries in Starr County, Texas

Desert Cardinals & Grosbeaks

Northern Cardinal: The male is red with a reddish bill and black face. The young males have black bills. The female is light brown or tan and red with a red bill and crest. The female is commonly mistaken for a male Pyrrhuloxia, but the Cardinal female has a red bill as opposed to the ivory bill of the Pyrrhuloxia, and the Pyrrhuloxia is grayer.

Pyrrhuloxia: About 7¼ inches (19 cm) in length, the male is a slender grayish-tan and red bird with a crest and a small stubby, almost parrot-like bill. The rose-colored breast and crest suggest the female Cardinal, but the gray back and ivory-colored bill set it apart. The female has a gray back, buff breast, a touch of red in the wings and crest and an ivory-colored bill.

Blue Grosbeak: This bird measures 6 to 7¼ inches (15 to 19 cm). The adult male is dark blue with 2 rust-colored wing bars. The female is dull brown with buff wing bars. As with other grosbeaks, this species has a heavy, conical bill.

Black-headed Grosbeak: This grosbeak measures 6¼ to 7¼ inches (17 to 19 cm). The adult male has a black head, brownish-orange underparts, and black wings with white wing bars. The female has a striped head, streaked back and sides, and sparsely streaked buff-colored breast. The heavy, conical bill is pale in both sexes.

White Cardinals or Desert cardinals eating possumhaw holly berries in Starr County, Texas

White Cardinals or Desert cardinals eating possumhaw holly berries in Starr County, Texas

Varied Bunting: This attractive bunting measures 4¼ to 5¼ inches (11 to 14 cm). The adult male has a plum or red-purple body, a blue crown, and a bright red patch on the back of the head. In poor light the bird looks black. Females and immatures are unstreaked gray-brown above and buffy below.

Diet:

All species feed on insects, berries, and seeds; Blue Grosbeak adds spiders, snails, and plant parts to its diet; Black-headed Grosbeak includes spiders and snails. It is able to feed on Monarch butterflies in spite of the noxious chemicals they exude.

Behavior:

The Blue Grosbeak forages on the ground and from plants; it also flies out to catch insects midair or hovers and removes them from foliage. This species commonly forages in flocks during winter and migration, but not in the breeding season.

Habitat

The Pyrrhuloxia is a year-round resident of desert scrub and mesquite thickets, in the U.S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and woodland edges in Mexico. It occupies the southwestern half of Texas, approximately the southern third of New Mexico, and southeastern region of Arizona. Its range flows further south inhabiting areas from the west to east coast of Mexico north of the Sierra Madre del Sur, Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and Isthmus of Tehuantepec, whilst excluding the Sierra Madre Occidental. An individual of the species has reportedly been seen as far away from its dominant range as Costa Mesa, California in Orange County.

Pyrrhuloxias occur from the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas southward to central Mexico and central and southern Baja California. They frequent mesquite, thorn scrub and deserts.

Desert cardinals eating possumhaw holly berries in Starr County, Texashttp://i2.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/CardinalsBerries_EN-US10787647296_1366x768.jpg?fit=1024%2C1024http://i2.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/CardinalsBerries_EN-US10787647296_1366x768.jpg?resize=150%2C150 Damien Lucian Photos & VideosWorldWildLife,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Desert Cardinals or Pyrrhuloxia The Pyrrhuloxia or Desert Cardinal (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a medium-sized North American song bird found in the American southwest and northern Mexico. This distinctive species with a short, stout bill, red crest and wings, closely resembles the Northern Cardinal and the Vermilion Cardinal, all of which...
<h2>Desert Cardinals or Pyrrhuloxia</h2> The Pyrrhuloxia or Desert Cardinal (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a medium-sized North American song bird found in the American southwest and northern Mexico. This distinctive species with a short, stout bill, red crest and wings, closely resembles the Northern Cardinal and the Vermilion Cardinal, all of which are in the same genus. <h2>Desert Cardinals & Grosbeaks</h2> <strong>Northern Cardinal:</strong> The male is red with a reddish bill and black face. The young males have black bills. The female is light brown or tan and red with a red bill and crest. The female is commonly mistaken for a male Pyrrhuloxia, but the Cardinal female has a red bill as opposed to the ivory bill of the Pyrrhuloxia, and the Pyrrhuloxia is grayer. <strong>Pyrrhuloxia:</strong> About 7¼ inches (19 cm) in length, the male is a slender grayish-tan and red bird with a crest and a small stubby, almost parrot-like bill. The rose-colored breast and crest suggest the female Cardinal, but the gray back and ivory-colored bill set it apart. The female has a gray back, buff breast, a touch of red in the wings and crest and an ivory-colored bill. <strong>Blue Grosbeak:</strong> This bird measures 6 to 7¼ inches (15 to 19 cm). The adult male is dark blue with 2 rust-colored wing bars. The female is dull brown with buff wing bars. As with other grosbeaks, this species has a heavy, conical bill. <strong>Black-headed Grosbeak:</strong> This grosbeak measures 6¼ to 7¼ inches (17 to 19 cm). The adult male has a black head, brownish-orange underparts, and black wings with white wing bars. The female has a striped head, streaked back and sides, and sparsely streaked buff-colored breast. The heavy, conical bill is pale in both sexes. <strong>Varied Bunting:</strong> This attractive bunting measures 4¼ to 5¼ inches (11 to 14 cm). The adult male has a plum or red-purple body, a blue crown, and a bright red patch on the back of the head. In poor light the bird looks black. Females and immatures are unstreaked gray-brown above and buffy below. <h2><strong>Diet:</strong></h2> All species feed on insects, berries, and seeds; Blue Grosbeak adds spiders, snails, and plant parts to its diet; Black-headed Grosbeak includes spiders and snails. It is able to feed on Monarch butterflies in spite of the noxious chemicals they exude. <h2>Behavior:</h2> The Blue Grosbeak forages on the ground and from plants; it also flies out to catch insects midair or hovers and removes them from foliage. This species commonly forages in flocks during winter and migration, but not in the breeding season. <h2>Habitat</h2> The Pyrrhuloxia is a year-round resident of desert scrub and mesquite thickets, in the U.S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and woodland edges in Mexico. It occupies the southwestern half of Texas, approximately the southern third of New Mexico, and southeastern region of Arizona. Its range flows further south inhabiting areas from the west to east coast of Mexico north of the Sierra Madre del Sur, Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and Isthmus of Tehuantepec, whilst excluding the Sierra Madre Occidental. An individual of the species has reportedly been seen as far away from its dominant range as Costa Mesa, California in Orange County. Pyrrhuloxias occur from the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas southward to central Mexico and central and southern Baja California. They frequent mesquite, thorn scrub and deserts.