Red-Capped Cardinal

Red-Capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis

Type of Animal:

Semiopen swamps, semiopen/open mangroves, semiopen varzea, lightly wooded wet areas in towns/cities, riparian thickets, tropical/subtropical swamp forest, tropical/subtropical seasonally wet/flooded grasslands, moist savanna, tropical/subtropical moist shrubland

C & W Brazil, Peru, E Ecuador, S & E Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana Shield, N & E Bolivia

Adults have crimson red head, blackish lores/ocular region, shiny black to gray-black upper body/wings, white partial collar extending up neck sides from white belly, black upper mandible, pale flesh-colored lower mandible, dark gray to black legs, brownish-orange iris. Juveniles have dusky brown upper body/wings, black bill, deep brownish-buff head darker on cap, & pale dull creamy yellow iris

Arthropods, rice, fruit, seeds, berries, greens, eggs

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & aviculture

Flocks of 2-18 birds

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Flock

0.78 oz

2 weeks 

Life Span:
5-6 years in wild, 10-12 years in captivity

6.5 in

Body Length:
6.5 in

Tail Length:
1.5 in

Build cup-shaped nests out of roots/twigs/grasses/leaves. Nests usually 3.6-3.8 in wide, 2.8 in high outside w/ 2.8 in wide by 1.6 in deep cup.
Females lay 2-3 eggs per clutch & can often rear up to 3 clutches a year.
Active during the day (diurnal).
Sexually mature at 6 months old.
Males call & wing-flutter to attract females.
Chicks stay w/ parents for around 2-6 months but sometimes up to 8 months.
Song clear sweet suweet-ch, repeated at short intervals. Call soft chup.

Fun Fact(s):
Nests sometimes parasitized by Shiny Cowbirds, which lay eggs in cardinal nests. Cardinals rear cowbird chicks as well as their own. Sometimes, cowbirds destroy cardinal eggs. Sometimes, cowbird eggs expelled from nest. Cowbird eggs/chicks hatch/grow at faster rate than cardinals.
While called cardinals, they’re not true cardinals but are actually tanagers.
Sometimes trapped/kept as cagebirds due to coloration & melodious song.
Strong legs & large feet allow them to walk on floating vegetation while feeding.

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