CARDINALIDAE of South America

The Cardinalidae are a family of passerine birds found in North and South America. The family is comprised of buntings, cardinals, grosbeaks, and tanagers. 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.


Cardinals and Allies

Order Passeriformes    Family Cardinalidae


Other Cardinal-like birds belong to Family Thraupidae.


Genus Cardinalis

Cardinal, Vermilion  Cardinalis phoeniceus  Found: Columbia, Venezuela
The Vermilion Cardinal's natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
Similar to: Northern Cardinal. Their ranges do not overlap.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit   2) Mathdesm - Venezuela   3) Fir Z - Venezuela



Genus Piranga

Tanager, Hepatic  Piranga flava Found: Southwestern USA to northern Argentina
Similar to: Summer Tanager. Female Summer Tanager has a longer, lighter colored bill than the female Hepatic Tanager. Male Summer Tanager is brighter red than male Hepatic Tanager.
Photograhed by:  1, 4) Cláudio Timm - Cabo Polonio, Uruguay  2) Jerry Oldenettel - Costa Rica 3) Dominic Sherony 5) Blake Matheson - Arizona
1, 2, 3) Female  4, 5) Male



Tanager, Scarlet   Piranga olivacea   Found: eastern North America to northwest South America
Similar to: Summer Tanger. The male Scarlet Tanager has darker wings than the male Summer Tanager. The female Summer Tanager has a bigger bill than the female Scarlet Tanager.
Image by:  1) Kelly Colgan Azar  2) Jamie Chavez - California3, 4, 5) Jerry Oldenettel   6) Len Blumin - Florida   7) Dick Daniels - Panama
1) Juvenile or female  3) Nonbreeding male  4 - 7) Breeding male



Tanager, Summer   Piranga rubra   Found: southern USA to northern South America
Similar to: Hepatic Tanager. Female Summer Tanager has a longer, lighter colored bill than the female Hepatic Tanager. Male Summer Tanager is brighter red than male Hepatic Tanager.
Similar to: Scarlet Tanger. The male Scarlet Tanager has darker wings than the male Summer Tanager. The female Summer Tanager has a bigger bill than the female Scarlet Tanager.
Image by: 1) Paula McVann - Missouri  2) Pamela Wilson   3) Julian Londono - Manizales, Caldas, Colombia  4) Dominic Sherony  5) New Jersey Birds  6) Dick Daniels- Ecuador
1, 2) Female  3, 4, 5, 6) Male




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