NFSS | National Finch & Softbill Society 501(3)(C)
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Red Crested Cardinal

(Paroaria cucullata)

This beautiful seven inch long cardinal from South America is an extremely hardy and colorful species, males often having a good song.

The red-orange head and deep V-shaped throat area is the main feature of this bird. The beak is horn colored with a dark grayish shade across the top of the upper mandible. A whitish margin on the top and sides of the head is followed by a pleasant shade of gray which covers the rest of the upperparts, with the underparts being a bright white.

The female has a duller shade of red on the head, and the young have brownish upperparts and dusty white underparts until they reach maturity.

The red-crested cardinal has frequently been bred in captivity, usually in planted avaries. The nest is usually an untidy cup-shaped affair. Incubation period is 14 days, and the female does the majority of building, incubating, and rearing the young. During breeding, the live food ration should be greatly increased.

Cardinals should be offered a well-balanced diet that includes various fruits, Universal food or softbill pellets, various seeds, and a variety of live food.

baby cardinal Red crested or brazilian cardinal