Pyrrhuloxia

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image: pyrrhuloxia.jpg

Common Name: Pyrrhuloxia
Scientific Name: Cardinalis sinuatus

Size: 8.75 inches (23 cm)

Habitat: North America in the Southern edges of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and throughout Mexico. Desert scrub, mesquite grassland, and riparian woodland.

Status: Not threatened. Global Population: 8,000,000 mature adults. Large areas of the Pyrrhuloxia's habitat in the southwestern United States have been lost to development by humans. Populations appear to be declining slightly.

Diet: Seed, nuts, fruit and insects.

Breeding: They built a small, neat cup of twigs, bark strips, and grass, placed in a bush or hedgerow. They lay 2-4 eggs; Whitish, with green and gray markings.

Cool Facts: The name "Pyrrhuloxia" is a combination of the genus names Pyrrhula (bullfinches) and Loxia (crossbills). The roots mean "flame-colored" and "crooked," and aptly describe the reddish bird with the crooked bill.

Some Pyrrhuloxias remain present on their breeding grounds all year, while others wander in winter. Wanderers may occur in habitats where they do not breed, such as urban areas.

Foraging winter flocks of Pyrrhuloxias may number as many as 1,000 birds.

Where both the Pyrrhuloxia and Northern Cardinal breed, territories of the two species may overlap, and no conflicts have been recorded between the species.

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