|(Photo from Natura-Aves Silvestres)|
Red-crested cardinal (en); cardeal-de-topete-vermelho (pt); paroare huppé (fr); cardenal de cresta roja (es); graukardinal (de)
Native to South America, the red-crested cardinal can be found in northern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The species as also been introduced to Hawaii and Puerto Rico and may be found in other areas of Brazil outside its original range.
They measure 18-20 cm in length and have a wingspan of 20-22 cm. The weight is similar in both sexes, rounding 30-35 g.
This species occurs in tropical and sub-tropical dry shrubland and can also be found in heavily degraded secondary forests.
The red-crested cardinal feeds on the ground for seeds, plant matter, insects, and fruit.
The males use plant material to wove an open, cup-shaped nest into twigs of trees and bushes. Each clutch has 2-4 white eggs, mottled and streaked with greyish or brownish-olive. The eggs are incubated for 10-12 days and both parents feed the chicks until fledging, which takes place 2 to 3 weeks later. A pair may fledge up to 3 clutches per year.
IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
Although the species is not threatened at present it does suffer from loss of habitat and illegal hunting for commercial purposes. Many birds are captured every year to be sold as cage birds.