This long-crested bird of southwestern North America and Mexico looks like a gray cardinal with a parrot-like bill.Both the male and female aggressively defend their two- to three-acre territory until it is established, whereupon it becomes the duty of the male to maintain it. the female is similar to the male but has a buffy gray breast, a red tip to her gray crest, red washes on her throat and the mid-line of her breast and belly, and red edging to her primaries. In winter the yellow bill of both sexes turns grayish yellow. in flight the underwings coverts flash red.
Their song is a varied series of rich loud whistles, chewee, chewee, chewee; wheet-wheet-wheet. It is very similar to the Northern Cardinal. It has a sharp metallic plik or chink call.
Photo Location: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Marana, AZ
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