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 Caryothraustes

Grosbeak, Yellow-green Caryothraustes canadensis  Found: Panama, South America
The Black-faced Grosbeak has a black face; yellow head, underparts; olive back, wings, tail; heavy dark bill.
Image by: 1) Danilo Schinke



Genus Chlorothraupis

Tanager, Ochre-breasted  Chlorothraupis stolzmanni  Found: Columbia, Ecuador
The Ochre-breasted Tanager has mainly dull green-brown plumage; heavy black bill; pale gray iris; yellowish tinge to underparts.
Image by: 1) Michael Woodruff - Ecuador  2) Julian Zuleta - Columbia


Tanager, Olive  also  Carmiol's Tanager Chlorothraupis carmioli  Found: Central America and northern South America
The Olive Tanager has olive upperparts; yellow-green underparts; yellowish throat contrasting with greener head.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Olive Tanager - Costa Rica  3) David Rodriguez - Costa Rica



Genus Habia
Ant-tanagers are long-tailed and strong billed birds. Males have a red crest and plumage containing red, brown or sooty hues. Females may resemble the males or be largely yellowish or brown in color. Theeat ants and other insects plus occasionally fruit. The female alone builds a cup nest and incubates the two or three eggs. The young leave the nest before they can fly and hide in dense vegetation. Ant-tanagers have harsh call notes but musical whistled songs.

Tanager, Crested Ant-  Habia cristata  Found: Columbia
The Crested Ant-tanager has a red head, neck, upper-breast; grayish flanks and belly.
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi - Columbia    2) Ron Knight - Columbia


Tanager, Red-crowned Ant-   Habia rubica  Found: Mexico south to Paraguay and northern Argentina, and on Trinidad.
The male Red-crowned Ant-Tanager has dull reddish-brown upperparts; brighter red throat, breast; scarlet crown stripe.  Female has mainly yellowish-brown plumage; yellow throat; yellow-buff crown stripe.
Image by: 1) Dani e Iron   2) Claudio Timm  3) Hector Bottai - Brazil
1, 2) Female 3) Male


Tanager, Sooty Ant-  Habia gutturalis  Found: Columbia
The male Sooty Ant-Tanager has mainly dusky gray plumage; scarlet-red crest; reddish-pink center of throat; black sides of throat and crest. Female similar to male but less dusky; white throat with some pinkish red.
Image by: 1) Robert Lewis



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


Tanager, White-winged  Piranga leucoptera  Found: Mexico, Central America, South America
The White-winged Tanager has mainly red plumage; black wings with 2 white wing-bars.
Image by: 1) Michael Woodruff - Ecuador  2) Fernando Flores - Venezuela  3) Amy McAndrews - Mexico
1) Female 2) Male




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