Cardinal Bird Breed

Cardinals

Cardinal

Similar to the size, shape, and personality of the bulbuls but different in diet and song is the group of cardinals on the market in North America. The gorgeous red Virginia Cardinal (Richmondena cardinalis) that is native to much of the United States cannot be kept legally, of course.

There is, however, a Brazilian species that is very similar but different enough that it can be kept legally. It is the Venezuelan Red Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). The bird lacks some of the brilliance of its North American counterpart, but it is nevertheless a beautiful bird. He has a penetrating song which can be heard throughout the neighborhood.

In addition to a budgie seed mixture, he should have hemp and sunflower, plus apple and green food. A few mealworms now and then are appreciated. Red Cardinals become tame readily, especially when enticed with morsels like mealworms.

Three other cardinals are also imported. These are not closely related to the foregoing, however; they are nearer to buntings then to gosbeaks. Two of these are almost identical except that one lacks a crest; the Pope Cardinal (Paroaria dominicana) and the Red-Crested Cardinal, above, (Paroaria cucullata). They are about seven inches long and come from western South America. Upper parts are gray and under parts white. The head and throat are bright red, and in the Red-Crested, the tall crest is also a brilliant scarlet.

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