CARDINALIDAE of North America

The Cardinalidae are a family of passerine birds found in North and South America. The family is comprised of buntings, cardinals, and grosbeaks. However, each of these categories of birds have similary named birds in other families. The birds of this family are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family ranges in size from 12-25 cm. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes are dimorphic - they usuaully have distinctive appearances.


Buntings

Order Passeriformes    Family Cardinalidae


Other Buntings are in the Emberizidae  family.


Genus Passerina
The "Buntings" are a loosely defined group of colorful sparrow-like birds. According to Holloway (Dictionary of Birds) the derivation of the word "bunting" is obscure. Anyway, of the seven species in the Passerina genus, 6 are Buntings and 1 is a Grosbeak. [Len Blumin]

Bunting, Indigo  Passerina cyanea   Found: The Americas
The breeding male Indigo Bunting has blue body; silver-gray bill. Female and nonbreeding male are brown. Its habitat is farmland, brush areas, and open woodland.
Similar to: Blue Bunting. Indigo Bunting has bicolored bill; Blue Bunting does not.
Similar to: Blue Grosbeak. Blue Grosbeak has double wing bars; Indigo Bunting does not.
Similar to: Lazuli Bunting. Female Indigo Bunting has lighter throat than female Lazuli Bunting. Similarly for nonbreeding males.
Image by: 1) Dan Pancamo  2) Jerry Oldenettel - Guatemala  3) Paula McVann - Missouri   4) John Benson  5) Trica Shears  6) Dick Daniels - Ash, North Carolina  7) Kevin Bolton  
1, 2) Female   3, 4, 5, 6) Male



Bunting, Lazuli Passerina amoena   Found: North America
The breeding male Lazuli Bunting has bright blue head, back; red breast; white belly; 2 white wing bars; black smudge in front of eye. Nonbreeding male duller. Female has grayish-brown upperparts; light brown underparts; 2 light wing-bars. It eats mostly seeds and insects. It may feed conspicuously on the ground or in bushes, but singing males are often very elusive in treetops.
Similar to: Indigo Bunting. Female Indigo Bunting has lighter throat than female Lazuli Bunting. Similarly for nonbreeding males.
Similar to: Varied Bunting. Lazuli Bunting has wing bars; Varied Bunting does not.
Image by: 1) Maggie Smith  2) Sean McCann - British Columbia  3) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico   4) Bill Bouton - California  65)  Alan Wilson - Deschutes National Forest, Near Fort Rock, Oregon  6) Eugene Beckes  
1, 2) Female 3) nonbreeding Male  4, 5, 6) breeding Male  



Bunting, Orange-breasted  Passerina leclancherii  Found: Mexico
It prefers dry habitats.
Image by:  1) Jerry Oldenettel   2) mememorice   3) aeDrake09  4) Jorge Montejo  5)  Amy McAndrews 
1) Female  2) nonbreeding male  3 , 4, 5) breeding male



Bunting, Painted Passerina ciris   Found: North America
The male Painted Bunting has dark blue head; green back;  red rump, underparts. The female has green upperparts; yellowish-green underparts. It is found in thickets, woodland edges, shrubbery and brushy areas.
Similar to: Varied Bunting. Male Painted Bunting much more colorful than male Varied Bunting. Female Painted Bunting is green; female Varied Bunting is brown.
Image by: 1) Jerry Downes - Florida  2) Ken Schneider - Florida  3) New Jersy Birds   4) USFWS - Texas   5) Doug Janson   6) Dick Daniels - Brunswick Town, North Carolina 
1, 2, 3) Female or juvenile male  4, 5, 6) Male



Bunting, Rose-bellied  Passerina rositae  Found: Mexico
The Rose-bellied Bunting is endemic to the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, where it occurs in arid to semiarid thorn-forest and gallery woodlands.
Image by:  1) John Keulemans  2) Jorge Montejo    3) Amy McAndrews   4, 5) Dominic Sherony - Oaxaca, MX
1) Pair  2) Female  4, 5) Male



Bunting, Varied  Passerina versicolor  Found: southwest USA, Mexico, Central America
The male Varied Bunting has a dark purple body; red nape; blue forehead. Females are plain brown. They forage on the ground for insects, fruit, and seeds.
Similar to: Crimson-collared Grosbeak. Male Crimson-collared Grosbeak as a black head; male Varied Bunting have a blue forehead.
Similar to: Painted Bunting. Male Painted Bunting much more colorful than male Varied Bunting. Female Painted Bunting is green; female Varied Bunting is brown.
Similar to: Lazuli Bunting. Lazuli Bunting has wing bars; Varied Bunting does not.
Image by: 1, 5) Len Blumin - Mexico  2) mememorice  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Guadalupe Canyon, Hidalgo Co., NM   4) Louis Agassiz Fuertes  6) Dominic Sherony - Guatemala 
1, 2, 3) Female 4, 5, 6) Male 



Grosbeak, Blue   Passerina caerulea  formerly Guiraca caerulea  Found: southern USA, Central America
The male Blue Grosbeak has mainly blue body; 2 chestnut wingbars; black between eye and bill; large silver bill. Female has gray-brown upperparts; light brown underparts; 2 tan wingbars; rump tinged with blue.
Similar to: Blue Bunting. Blue Grosbeak has double wing bars; Blue Bunting does not.
Similar to: Indigo Bunting. Blue Grosbeak has double wing bars; Indigo Bunting does not.
Image by: 1) Bill Lynch - New Jersey  2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - North Carolina    5) Maggie Smith - California   6)Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico
1, 2, 3) Female  4, 5, 6) Male




Genus Amaurospiza

Seedeater, Blue   Amaurospiza concolor   Found: Mexico, Central Ameria, northern South America
The male Blue Seedeater has blackish plumage with a blue gloss; females have warm cinnamon-brown plumage.
Image by: 1) Tore - Costa Rica   2) NVBOB2 - Costa Rica
1) Female 2) Male



Genus Granatellus
These chats were previously placed in family Parulidae.

Chat, Gray-throated  Granatellus sallaei  Found: Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico
The male Gray-throated Chat has dark gray upperparts, head, throat; white post-eye supercilium; mainly red underparts; white flanks. Female similar, but duller; buffy supercilium; pink breast; whitish belly.
Image by:   1, 3) Jorge Montejo - Mexico  2, 4) Amy McAndrews - Mexico


Chat, Red-breasted  Granatellus venustus  Found: Mexico
The male Red-breasted Chat has white throat, flanks, bold stripe above and behind the eye; black face, chest-band; red breast, upper-belly. Female buffy with hints of male plumage.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel  2) Amy McAndrews - Oxacana  3) Ron Knight
1) Female   2, 3) Male



Genus Spiza - 1 species

Dickcissel  Spiza americana   Found: North America to north South America
The breeding male Dickcissel has brown back with black lines; gray cheeks, crown; yellow breast; white lower belly; black throat patch with white above the patch; yellow eye-line. Female has brown back with some black lines; white throat with faint line on either side; yellowish breast; light belly; yellow eye-line.
Similar to: Eastern Meadowlark.  Meadowlark long pointed bill; Dickcissel has short wedge shaped bill. Meadowlark larger.
Image by: 1) Tiwago -  Illinois  2) Maggie Smith - California  3) Carol Foil - Louisiana   4) T Lindenbaum - Illinois   5) Ramendan   6) RebelAt - Missouri  7) Patti McNeal  
1, 2) Females or 1st year male  3) Female  4, 5) nonbreeding Male ?  6, 7) Breeding male






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