The Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a medium-sized North American bird in the same genus as the Northern Cardinal and the Vermilion Cardinal, which is a South American species.

The most obvious differences between the male Pyrrhuloxia and the Northern Cardinal are the former's largely gray coloring with a red breast, a red rather than black mask, and a yellow parrot-like bill. The females of the two species resemble each other much more closely, but the shapes of their bills are diagnostic. The songs of the two species are identical, though the Pyrrhuloxia's is not quite as loud.

The Pyrrhuloxia is a resident of Mexico and the southern parts of the U.S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Its name comes from Greek terms describing its coloration (πυρρος = pyrrhos = reddish or orange) and the shape of its bill (λοξος = loxos = oblique, hence crossbill).

See also


  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

Further reading


  • Tweit, R. C., and C. W. Thompson. 1999. Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 391 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.


  • Kirkpatrick CK. M.S. (1999). Trends in grassland bird abundance following prescribed burning in southern Arizona. The University of Arizona, United States -- Arizona.
  • Lloyd JD. M.S. (1997). Large-scale vegetation features affecting the distribution and abundance of grassland birds. The University of Arizona, United States -- Arizona.


  • Aspinall SJ, Taverner JH & Wiseman EJ. (1993). History of Black-headed Gull colonies in Hampshire and neighbouring counties. British Birds. vol 86, no 3. p. 103-114.
  • Clark GAJ. (1974). Foot Scute Differences among Certain North American Oscines. Wilson Bulletin. vol 86, no 2. p. 104-109.
  • Dobbs RC & Martin PR. (2000). Winter nocturnal roost sites and behavior of some desert passerines in western Texas. Western Birds. vol 31, no 2. p. 120-122.
  • Hellack JJ. (1976). Phenetic Variation in the Avian Subfamily Cardinalinae. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History University of Kansas. vol 57, p. 1-22.
  • Hinds DS & Calder WA. (1973). Temperature Regulation of the Pyrrhuloxia and the Arizona Cardinal. Physiological Zoology. vol 46, no 1. p. 55-71.
  • Lemon RE & Herzog A. (1969). The Vocal Behavior of Cardinals and Pyrrhuloxias in Texas USA Richmondena-Cardinalis Pyrrhuloxia-Sinuata. Condor. vol 71, no 1. p. 1-15.
  • Lloyd J, Mannan RW, Destefano S & Kirkpatrick C. (1998). The effects of mesquite invasion on a southeastern Arizona grassland bird community. Wilson Bulletin. vol 110, no 3. p. 403-408.
  • Mc Caskie G. (1971). A Pyrrhuloxia Wanders West to California. California Birds. vol 2, no 3. p. 99-100.
  • Patten MA. (2006). Dispersal and vagrancy in the Pyrrhuloxia. Western Birds. vol 37, no 1. p. 37-44.
  • Patti ST. (1976). Another New Bird for Oklahoma Pyrrhuloxia. Bulletin of the Oklahoma Ornithological Society. vol 9, no 4. p. 28-30.
  • Pence DB & Casto S. (1975). 2 New Species and New Records of Nasal Mites of the Genus Sternostoma Acarina Rhinonyssinae from Birds in Texas USA. Journal of Parasitology. vol 61, no 2. p. 360-368.
  • Tamplin JW, Demasters JW, Remsen JV & Jr. (1993). Biochemical and morphometric relationships among some members of the Cardinalinae. Wilson Bulletin. vol 105, no 1. p. 93-113.

External links

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