The pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) is closely related to and resembles the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Striking birds in their own right, pyrrhuloxia males are not the overall brilliant red of their cousins, but rather have a red crest, face, tail and a reddish stripe running down its brest. The remainder of the male pyrrhuloxia’s plumage is grey. Females are more buffy than the males and lack most of the red. Both sexes have a long crest, long tail and thick, yellow bill.
Pyrrhuloxia are non-migratory residents of the hot deserts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
Pyrrhuloxia feed on seeds on or near the ground. They also will take fruits, insects and the nectar and pollen of saguaro. Although pyrrhuloxia get most of their water requirement from their food, they will drink water when it is available.
Pygmy owls, greater roadrunners and cats, both domestic and feral, are enemies of pyrrhuloxia.
This female pyrrhuloxia was photographed in mesquite brush behind Casa Paloma 2 in Green Valley AZ.