USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Pyrrhuloxia -- Cardinalis sinuatus

RANGE: Resident from Baja California, south-central and southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southern and western Texas south to central Mexico.

STATUS: Fairly common.

HABITAT: Generally lives yearlong in thorny thickets, especially at the edges of mesquite along desert arroyos, in thorny shrubs at lower, wide mouths of mountain canyons, and in thickets along streams. In winter, often wanders from thickets to feed in flocks along roads, fencerows, and borders of fields.

NEST: Builds a compact nest, usually low (3 to 8 feet above the ground), in a thorny shrub or tree, or in a clump of mistletoe.

FOOD: Gleans most of its food from the ground. During the winter, eats cactus fruits, seeds of grasses, weeds, and mesquite, and catkins of cottonwood. In summer, also eats insects.

REFERENCES: Harrison 1979, Oberholser 1974b, Terres 1980.

Previous Section -- Family Emberizidae
Return to Family List
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 19:22:47 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]