Paroaria coronata, also known as the Brazilian, or Red-crested cardinal, is a cheeky little bird. You know, the kind that will hop right up to your table at an outdoor eatery and look at you like, "What are you waiting for? Drop some food already!" But boy they are fun to observe. It always makes me laugh to watch the family unit interact: mom and dad, who look the same, and junior, with a browner head than the brilliant red of the adults. Though Junior is nearly as big as the adults, he'll cheep incessantly, begging for food, pursuing the parents, and then begging some more. This will go on for quite some time until the parents take off in the hopes of losing him for a while. No such luck. Junior takes off right after them, and you know he's found them once the interminable cheep, cheep, cheep resumes.
The red-crested cardinal is actually in the tanager family, and though they are crested, and have similar feeding habits to the all-red northern cardinals, they are not closely related. They were introduced to Hawaii in the late 1920's to early 1930's, many by Hui Manu, and now occupy all the MHI, tending to keep to the lower elevations, particularly around parks, beach areas, and backyard gardens. You'll often see them feeding on the ground for seeds, insects, and fruit.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.