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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 19:30 EDT

Cardinal

The Cardinals (Cardinalidae) are a family of passerine birds living in North and South America.

They are full-bodied, seed-eating birds, with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages; the family is named for the red color (like that of a 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. 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.

The bird is the namesake of two major American sports franchises, the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball) and the Arizona Cardinals (football).

Cardinal