Paroaria Coronata – Red-Crested Cardinal

Paroaria coronata, or more commonly known as the Red-crested cardinal, is a songbird. These birds are members of the tanager family (Thraupidae). They are occasionally referred to as the Brazilian cardinal. This species is not closely related to the true cardinal family of Cardinalidae, despite the fact that they have the same name.

The Red-crested Cardinal is a native of Central America. The Hawaiian Islands and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea have established populations of introduced cardinals. This type of escaped bird is occasionally seen in North America.

Quick Overview: Paroaria coronata – Red-crested cardinal
Body size: Around 7.5 inches (20 cm) with a rough weight of 1 ounce (30-35 g)
Main colors: Black, Gray, Red, White
Range: South America, introduced to Hawaii and Puerto Rico
Migratory Bird: No
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All throughout the year in Hawaii
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Paroaria coronata description

During the breeding season, Paroaria coronata displays a reddish-orange head, along with a matching red bib and a short red crest, which the bird raises when excited. The belly, breast, and undertail are all white, with a gray back, wings, and tail to contrast with the white. The coverts of the wings are gray, but the primaries, secondaries, and rectrices of the wings are a deeper gray. The juveniles look similar to the adults, but their heads and bibs are a dull brownish-orange color.

Range of Paroaria-coronate - Red crested cardinal in United States
Paroaria coronata a red-crested cardinal taht is found on the Hawaiian islands. Photo by: cuatrok77

Its head and crest are bright red, and the rest of its body is black and gray, making it stand out among the other cardinal species. The closely related yellow-billed cardinal (Paroaria capitata) is a similar-looking bird that is also been introduced to the Hawaiian islands. The two relatives can be distinguished by the black or gray throat of the yellow-billed cardinal – red-crested cardinals only have red and white feathers on their throat.


It is around 7.5 inches (19 cm) in length with around 1 ounce (30-35 g) in weight and a wingspan of around 10.5-11.5 in (27-29 cm). They can live for up to 15 years in captivity if properly cared for.


In addition to seeds, they also eat small arthropods, plant matter, and fruit in small quantities. They have a powerful beak that they use to crack seeds. During the breeding season, they prefer insects to other foods.

Range of Paroaria coronata - Red-crested cardinal in United States
A Red-crested cardinal in their usual habitat. Photo by: cuatrok77


A variety of semi-open areas with shrubs and trees, such as parks, lawns, tropical shrubland, and degraded forests are suitable habitats for red-crested cardinals.


These cardinals are frequently seen foraging on or near the ground, as well as in shrubbery, during the day. These cardinals are frequently found in pairs or small family groups, according to the zoo.

Paroaria coronata Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Genus: Paroaria
  • Species: P.coronata

Best time of the year to see

These birds can be seen all year round from January up until December in the United States.

Other common names

It is sometimes known as the Brazilian cardinal.

Distribution of the red-crested cardinal in the USA

The largest populations of red-crested cardinals are found in South America from central Bolivia to Paraguay as well as Argentina. In the United States, they are only found in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Paroaria Coronata – Red-Crested Cardinal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 15 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here

Scroll to top