Red-crested Cardinal, Paroaria coronata


Red-crested Cardinal
The Red-crested Cardinal, native to South America, was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands nearly a century ago, and has spread out into an extensive range throughout the archipelago. I photographed the bird seen above and the pair below in Haena, on the east coast of Kauai. This species and its similarly colorful relative the Yellow-billed Cardinal, also introduced to Hawaii from South America, are the only two members of the numerous neo-tropical family of the true tanagers (Thraupidae) to be established within the American Birding Association area.  They are not closely related to the North American species that bear the Tanager name (including Western, Scarlet, and Summer Tanagers), all of which belong to the Cardinal family or Cardinalidae. Thus, as if just to confuse the everyday birder, South America's colloquially Cardinal species are technically Tanagers while North America's colloquial Tanagers are technically Cardinals.


Red-crested Cardinals