Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
#1 Hawaii is the only state where you can see the Red-crested Cardinal!
The best habitat for this bird is a subtropical or tropical dry shrub land or a heavily degraded former forest. They are native to many beautiful places like Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and parts of southern Brazil, like Pantanol. The Red-crested Cardinal isn’t native to Hawaii, but it was introduced to the islands around 1930. In the Hawaiian environment, their preferred habitats are parks, lawns, and dry thickets.
#2 The Red-crested Cardinal isn’t actually a part of the Cardinal family!
Sometimes names can be misleading. The Red-crested Cardinal is a actually a part of the family of tanagers. It is characterized by its bright red head, crest, face, chin, and upper breast, which is another reason people often assume it is related to the well known, bright-red cardinal. They are commonly mistaken for red-cowled cardinals and yellow-billed cardinals also. If you look closely, you can distinguish the Red-crested cardinal from these other birds by looking for the white underparts, gray back, wings, and tail. They also have an incomplete white collar that doesn’t quite meet behind the back of their neck.
#3 The Red-crested Cardinal was originally introduced in Oahu.
As a result, this bird is still most common on Oahu. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its vibrant colors on the other islands, too. Year round, you are normally able to spot the Red-crested Cardinal on Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii also. Thankfully, they aren’t endangered, so spotting one shouldn’t be too difficult. Keep an eye out for them in pairs or small groups! And if you can’t see a Red-crested Cardinal…maybe you can hear one…
#4 The Red-crested Cardinal is a songbird.
Not only is this bird beautiful to look at, but it is beautiful to listen to as well. The song of the Red-crested cardinal is slow, but at a high frequency. Their vocalization is said to sound like “wheet-cheer-up.” Their whistles melodically go up and down the scale. These birds are notoriously quieter than northern cardinals. Check out this quick clip of a Red-crested Cardinal spotted on Kailua Beach!