Zoo Snapshot: Red-crested Cardinal

This is a picture of a Red-crested Cardinal at the El Paso Zoo.

Red-crested Cardinal

Paroaria coronata

Least Concern: stable population in the wild.

Body Length: 7.5 inches long

Habitat: Semi-open forests and savannas native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. They have also been introduced in the United States.

At the El Paso Zoo: America’s Aviary

This is a picture of typical Red-crested Cardinal forest habitat near water.

Red-crested Cardinals are monogamous and will form mating pairs for life. Mates will maintain continuous contact by vocalizations and duets. Some courtship displays are strutting, fanning their tails and clicking their bills. Males will construct a cup-shaped nest of grass and twigs with finer materials used for the interior. The nests are built on forks of branches about 6 to 20 feet above the ground. Females will lay 2 to 5 eggs and will incubate them for a period of 12 to 13 days. Young will leave the nest after 2 to 3 weeks and may stay with the family for up to a year until they find a mate. The red-crested cardinal can live up to 6 years in the wild and about 13 years under human care.

In addition to birds released into the wild here in the US, over 10,000 birds are estimated to be living in Japan. The species has also been introduced in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Chile. It’s impact in competing with native species is not clearly known.

Photos
Rick LoBello
Rainforest by Anna & Michal, Wikimedia Creative Commons


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