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Get Mesmerized By The Black-N-White Coat And Red Head Of This Masked Cardinal

This unmistakable tricolored bird, with bold red, black, and white patches, is so adorable that it makes you fix your eyes on it. Let’s say hi to Masked Cardinal and discover something interesting about this species! In addition to introducing its diet, habit, and several biological facts, we love to show a few charming images of individuals from the species.

Source: Jason Fidorra/Caroni Swamp, San Juan-Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago

The Masked Cardinal (Paroaria nigrogenis) is a bird species in the tanager family. It is not very closely related to the cardinals proper. It has a red hood and throat, black mask, mostly black back and tail, and white underparts. The iris of this bird’s eyes is an intense orange. The juvenile ones don’t have the black and red feathers obviously yet. Their coverings tend to be brown, white, and yellow instead.

Source: Margaret Sloan/Caroni Swamp and Preserve, Trinidad, Tunapuna-Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago

Source: Jerome Foster/Aranguez – Farmlands by Overpass, San Juan-Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago

These beautiful birds are often found in groups of juveniles and adults near water in riverine forests, scrub, and savanna, mostly in lowlands. They don’t soar too high. Usually, their habitats are in eastern Colombia, northern Venezuela, Trinidad, and Brazil in the upper reaches of the Negro River.

Source: Timo Mitzen/Goldfish Ponds; Meta, Colombia, Meta, Colombia

Furthermore, they don’t migrate due to seasonal changes. On the opposite, since they live in all-year warm lands with high humidity, such as tropical forests, they don’t have to relocate when winters come. Formerly, they were considered conspecific with the very similar Red-capped Cardinal, but no range overlap.

Source: Jhon Velasquez/Parque Arawana, Meta, Colombia

Each Masked Cardinal, measuring about 16.5 in length and weighing in at about 23 g, looks like it is wearing a festival mask, and both sexes look indifferent. Besides, they are omnivorous and have a wide array of diets: from fruits, seeds, and edible plants to worms, insects, and tiny animals. They sure eat a lot for energy and nutrition to spread their wings and breed.

Source: Luis R Figueroa/Hato El Cedral, Apure, Venezuela

Mask Cardinal birds sing a clear “FEEup-feep! Fueet-feeut! Fueet-feep feep”. Their sounds are silvery and singsong, but sometimes they can be a little grating. Regularly, they call for mates and couple up in warm and humid months (from June to November). A couple of birds build their nest in a tree branch of a height from 2,5-5,5 meters. Then, the female bird will lay about two eggs. However, a bird called the shiny cowbird frequently parasitizes in their nest.

Source: Amilcar Lusinchi

The Red List of IUCN marks Masked Cardinal as Least Concern. It means they are not endangered. If you travel to those countries in America and love their gorgeous coverings, don’t miss the chance to admire them! Before planning so, please like and share this article with your bird buddies, leave your comment in the section below, and read a few more gripping posts on our website!