ANIMAL: Red-Capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: 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 Location(s): C & W Brazil, Peru, E Ecuador, S & E Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana Shield, N & E Bolivia Appearance: 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 Food/Diet: Arthropods, rice, fruit, seeds, berries, greens, eggs Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & aviculture Lifestyle: Flocks of 2-18 birds Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Flock Weight: 0.78 oz Gestation: 2 weeks Life Span: 5-6 years in wild, 10-12 years in captivity Height: 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.