The Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a medium-sized songbird found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Adult males measure 8.7-9.4 inches (22-24 cm) in length and weigh around 1.4-1.6 ounces (40-45 grams), while females are slightly smaller and lighter. One of the distinguishing field marks of the Pyrrhuloxia is its bright red crest, similar to that of the Northern Cardinal, but with a distinct curved shape. The body plumage of males is a pale grayish-brown color, while females are a more muted brownish-gray. Both sexes have a distinctive yellow beak with a black tip.

Pyrrhuloxias are year-round residents in their range, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. While they do not typically migrate, they may make short-distance movements to find food and water during times of drought or other environmental stressors. In areas where their range overlaps with that of the Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxias may form mixed flocks outside of the breeding season.

While Pyrrhuloxias are similar in appearance to Northern Cardinals, their range and habitat preferences are different, with Pyrrhuloxias favoring arid and desert regions. They can often be found in scrubby areas with sparse vegetation, and are known to frequent backyard bird feeders. They have a distinctive call, which is a series of clear, metallic notes, and they also sing a melodious song that is similar to that of the Northern Cardinal.

Overall, the Pyrrhuloxia is a beautiful and distinctive bird that is well-suited to life in arid and desert regions. Its red crest and yellow beak are key field marks that make it easy to identify, even from a distance. While it does not migrate, the Pyrrhuloxia may move short distances in response to environmental stressors, and can often be found in mixed flocks with other species during the non-breeding season. Whether at a backyard feeder or in the wild, the Pyrrhuloxia is a fascinating and delightful bird to observe.

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