While birding in the wild, suddenly you witness a red bird. If you aren’t an avid birder, there is a high chance that you might confuse that bird with a cardinal when it’s not. So, what’s the difference between a cardinal and a red bird? How can you be sure that it’s not a cardinal?
The primary difference between a red bird and a cardinal varies on the bird species. Mostly, a red bird doesn’t have a cardinal-like crest. Besides that, their body shape and size are also different.
However, below, in this content, we have talked about how you can differentiate between red birds, especially red robin and cardinal, and answered some questions related to the red birds and cardinals. So, let’s read.
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Red Robin Vs. Cardinal: What’s The Difference Between These Two Birdies
A red robin and a cardinal have similar body shapes and characteristics. Thus, many bird watchers struggle to identify a red robin and a cardinal.
However, FYI, they boast some differences, and the significant one lies in their plumage colors. The red robin features an orange chest, a black head, and a gray back, and its underpart feathers are orange-colored.
Meanwhile, the male cardinal, as you know, exhibits bright red-colored feathers, and the female bird is the proud owner of pale brown plumage.
Besides that, you can find differences in their calls. While cardinals produce more melodic sounds slowly, red robins make chirping sounds. These birds’ physical features are also distinctly varied.
The red robin contains a large, round body, but the cardinal has a medium-sized body. Also, the red robin comes with a fan-shaped tail and a yellow beak, while a cardinal features a rounded tail, a cone-shaped beak, and a black mask.
Speaking of their flight pattern, the red robins venture in large flocks during winter and fall. On the contrary, cardinals prefer flying with pairs or members of their families.
So, these are all the distinguishable features to look at to differentiate these two birds. Now, let’s answer some questions regarding the red bird and cardinal.
Is A Red Bird & Cardinal Same?
Many birders call cardinals using names like red cardinal, common cardinal, or just cardinal. It’s because the cardinals’ predominant color is red.
Mostly, birders associate this red color with the northern cardinal. But in reality, you will find various birdies derived from other bird groups come in red color.
So, the answer to the question is although a cardinal can feature red-colored plumage, all red birds aren’t cardinal.
Are All Cardinals Red?
No, not all cardinals are red; even if you talk about the northern cardinals, not all of them have red-colored feathers. The female northern cardinals come with pale-brown plumage.
Apart from that, the pyrrhuloxia, aka desert cardinal, features gray-brown feathers with a few red accents. So, it’s evident that all cardinals aren’t red.
What Is A Red Bird That Is Not A Cardinal?
A summer tanager is a red bird, but it’s not a cardinal, and it comes with black wings and a tail of the scarlet tanager. Plus, like the northern cardinal, this birdie doesn’t contain a black mask, nor does it have a cardinal-like crest.
But, the summer tanager resembles the northern cardinal in terms of body shape; it’s also a medium-sized songbird like the cardinal.
What Are Other Red Birds There Other Than Cardinals?
Numerous birds you will find in the wild boast red-colored feathers. The most prominent are the summer and scarlet tanagers, vermilion flycatcher, white-winged crossbill, red crossbill, pine grosbeak, and hepatic tanager.
Bird watchers often confuse these birdies with the northern cardinal. But by thoroughly inspecting these birds’ features, anyone can differentiate these bird species.
However, if you wanna learn about the identification of various cardinal look-alike birds, you may read this content.
So, now you know that a red bird and a cardinal aren’t the same. Although these birds come with the same bright red-colored feathers, they are distinctly different in size, physical characteristics, and behavioral patterns.
We hope next time you spot a red bird; you won’t make the mistake of assuming it is a northern cardinal. You will thoroughly inspect the bird’s features and identify them correctly. However, if this article provides valuable information, you may share it with your birder friends on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Au Revoir.