Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata)


  • Species name: Red-crested Cardinal (sometimes called Argentine Cardinal)
  • Scientific name: Paroaria coronata
  • Family: Thraupidae (Tanagers)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized songbird, about 22-24 cm (8.7-9.4 in) long with a wingspan of 32-36 cm (12.6-14.2 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky and robust, with a large head, a short neck, and a strong, slightly hooked beak.
  • Plumage color:

Males: Brilliant red head, crest, and bib, contrasting with their gray back and wings and white underparts.

Females: Duller overall than males, with a less defined red crest and bib and brownish-gray upperparts.

Strong, slightly hooked beak, black or dark gray.

Strong, dark gray legs.

Dark brown eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Omnivorous, eating seeds, fruits, berries, insects, and other small invertebrates. Forages on the ground, in trees, and on buildings.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests in trees or bushes. Lays 3-5 pale blue eggs with dark speckles. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, with some local movements in response to food availability.
  • Communication: Loud, clear song, often described as a series of whistles and warbles. Males sing throughout the year to defend territory and attract mates. Both sexes also use a variety of calls for alarm and communication.


  • Habitat: Open areas with scattered trees and bushes, such as grasslands, savannas, farmland, and parks. Adapts well to human-modified environments.
  • Diet: Seeds, fruits, berries, insects, worms, snails, small reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Hunting methods: Forages on the ground and in vegetation, picking up food items or gleaning them from leaves and branches. May also catch insects in mid-air.

Distribution: Found in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Bolivia. Also introduced to Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Red-crested Cardinal

The Red-crested Cardinal, a feathered flame painting the Amazonian foliage, might appear like a simple resident of rainforest canopies at first glance. But beneath its fiery crest and melodious chirps lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this rainforest maestro into a captivating avian acrobat, hidden feast master, and unexpected social swinger in your eyes.

Masters of the Canopy Ballet: Forget clumsy hops; Red-crested Cardinals reign supreme in the domain of sun-dappled leaves and towering branches. Their powerful legs and surprisingly broad wings propel them through the foliage with breathtaking agility, leaping and fluttering between vines like feathered trapeze artists on miniature windsurfers. Imagine them as rainforest dancers with built-in miniature hang gliders and an innate love for high-wire performances.

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their dietary flexibility! While fruits and berries are a staple, Red-crested Cardinals are opportunistic omnivores, readily adapting their menu to seasonal bounty. From juicy insects and tender shoots to seeds and even the occasional lizard, their varied appetite keeps them fueled for energetic foraging sessions. Think of them as feathered gourmands with built-in miniature buffets hidden within the emerald labyrinth.

Singing with Fiery Spirit: Their chirps aren't just simple calls. Red-crested Cardinals possess a rich and diverse repertoire, with clear, whistled songs, intricate trills, and even a signature "chip-chip-chip" duet call that echoes through the trees. Their voices rise above the rainforest like feathered opera singers, serenading the vibrant green symphony with their fiery spirit and joyful partnership.

Unexpected Social Swingers: They're not always solitary singers. Red-crested Cardinals have surprisingly strong social bonds, often forming loose flocks during non-breeding periods. They chase each other through the foliage in playful flurries, their crimson flashes lighting up the undergrowth, and even participate in synchronized aerial dives, painting the sky with fleeting patterns of red and black. Imagine them as feathered skydivers with built-in miniature wingsuits and coordinated tumbling routines.

Champions of Seed Dispersal: They're not just feathered singers and acrobats. Red-crested Cardinals play a vital role in the health of the Amazonian rainforest. Their love for fruits and berries leads to seed dispersal, helping regenerate and diversify the lush vegetation, making them feathered gardeners with built-in miniature fruit baskets and an instinct for spreading green bounty.

Cultural Charmers: In South American cultures, the Red-crested Cardinal is associated with passion, resilience, and the vibrant spirit of the rainforests. Its fiery plumage and lively calls inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's enduring landscapes and the boundless energy of life.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Red-crested Cardinals are the same! Different populations across the Amazon basin boast subtle variations in plumage color and call patterns, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.