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Red Cardinal bird in Brookline near Boston.
From Wikipedia: Cardinals, which make up the family Cardinalidae, are a passerine birds found in North and South America. They are also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings. The South American cardinals in the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae (previously placed in Emberizidae).
These are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family ranges in size from the 12-cm (4.7 inches), 11.5-gram (.40 oz) Orange-breasted Bunting to the 25-cm (9.8 inches), 85-gram (2.99 oz) Black-headed Saltator[verification needed]. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinctive appearances. The family is named for the red plumage (colored cardinal like the color of a Catholic cardinal's vestments) of males of the type species, the Northern Cardinal.
The "buntings" in this family are sometimes generically known as "tropical buntings" (though not all live in the tropics) or "North American buntings" (though there are other buntings in North America) to distinguish them from the true buntings, whose family does contain North American birds, but they are referred to as American sparrows (unrelated to Old World sparrows), juncos, and towhees rather than buntings. Likewise the grosbeaks in this family are sometimes called "cardinal-grosbeaks" to distinguish them from other grosbeaks. The name "cardinal-grosbeak" can also apply to this family as a whole.
July 14th, 2012
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