Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cone-Beaked, Dark-Crested and Throated South American Yellow Cardinals


Summary: Cone-beaked, dark-crested and throated, grayish female, olivey male South American yellow cardinals sing sweetly in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.


yellow cardinal (Gubernatrix cristata); Iberá Wetlands (Esteros del Iberá), central to north central Corrientes, northeastern Argentina; Nov. 3, 2008: Ron Knight (sussexbirder), CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

South American yellow cardinals appear natively in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and are unrelated to red northern cardinals of Canada through Mexico and the latter's alternate-, rare-colored North American yellow cardinals.
South American yellow cardinals bear their common name because of yellow-bellied females and yellow-bodied males even though they belong to the Thraupidae finch and tanager family. They claim the genus and species scientific name Gubernatrix cristata for "female ruler (who is) crested" since the red northern cardinal-like crest counts among core characteristics. Scientific designations defer to descriptions in 1817 by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot (May 10, 1748-Aug. 24, 1830), one of the first ornithologists to study plumage changes.
South American yellow cardinal life cycles expect open savannahs, scrublands, shrublands, steppes and swamps with dense foliage, grassy, mossy ground cover, lichen-covered trunks and thorny branches.

September through November function as nesting months for South American yellow cardinals even when the Passeriformes perching bird family member forms hybrid couples with common diuca-finches.
Females gather bark, leaves and twigs into cup-like, 2- to 3-inch- (5.08- to 7.62-centimeter-) tall nests with 4-inch (10.16-centimeter) outer diameters within three to nine days. One- to 15-foot- (0.31- to 4.57-meter-) high branches or forks hold the grass-, lichen-, moss-, pine needle-, rootlet-, stem-lined, one-time nest with 3-inch (7.62-centimeter) inner diameters. One- to two-brooded females incubate two to five black-freckled, black-streaked blue-green, green-white, 0.9- to 1.1-inch (2.28- to 2.79-centimeter) by 0.7- to 0.8-inch (1.78- to 2.03-centimeter) eggs.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature judges South American yellow cardinals jeopardized by caged-bird trading and cattle pasture-developing, eucalyptus plantation-operating, firewood-supplying, furniture-making and timber-cutting agro-industry.

South American yellow cardinals know paired and solitary ground-foraging, shrub- and tree-perching life cycles within large, non-breeding flocks at 2,296.59 feet (700 meters) above sea level.
Eleven- to 13-day incubations lead to fast-growing hatchlings with closed eyes and clumsy, downy-gray, sparse-tufted bodies that look buff, gray-brown and gray-white as seven- to 14-day-olds. One- to seven-day-old hatchlings and seven- to 14-day-old nestlings move just within their birth nests until maintaining nearby perches as 14-day-olds and managing independence as 35-day-olds. South American yellow cardinals need beetles, butterflies, centipedes, cicadas, crickets, flies, fruits, grains, katydids, leafhoppers, moths, seeds, spiders and worms in fields, hedges, thickets and yards.
Male South American yellow cardinals observe foraging and guard duties during nesting months and territorial defenses against intruders year-round in Argentine national parks and natural reserves.

South American yellow cardinals prefer beans, blackberry, buckwheat, cactus, common storksbill, corn, grape, grasses, maple, mulberry, pine, red-cedar, roses, sedge, spruce, sunflowers, tortuous mesquite and vomitbush.
Black crests and throats, conical beaks, gray-yellow chests and sides, pale yellow bellies and white facial stripes qualify as adult South American yellow cardinal female hallmarks. Males reveal black crests and throats, black-, center-striped yellow tails, black-streaked green-yellow backs and wings, bright bellies, eyebrows and moustache stripes, conical beaks and olive-yellow bodies. Adult South American yellow cardinals sing a melodic song that selects four to five wert, wrée-cheeu, swéet?, wrée-cheeu, sweet? whistles and that sounds melodic and sweet.
South American yellow cardinals travel near fellow finches and tanagers even though they transmit North American yellow cardinal looks with black crests and without black masks.

female and two male yellow cardinals (Gubernatrix cristata), also known as green cardinals for their extensive green coloring, by English zoological artist and lepidopterist F.W. (Frederick William) Frohawk (July 16, 1861-Dec. 10, 1946); "The hen bird is illustrated from a beautiful living example in the author's collection.": A.G. Butler's Foreign Finches in Captivity (1899), Public Domain, via Internet Archive

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
yellow cardinal (Gubernatrix cristata); Iberá Wetlands (Esteros del Iberá), central to north central Corrientes, northeastern Argentina; Nov. 3, 2008: Ron Knight (sussexbirder), CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/sussexbirder/8077671400/
female and two male yellow cardinals (Gubernatrix cristata), also known as green cardinals for their extensive green coloring, by English zoological artist and lepidopterist F.W. (Frederick William) Frohawk (July 16, 1861-Dec. 10, 1946); "The hen bird is illustrated from a beautiful living example in the author's collection.": A.G. Butler's Foreign Finches in Captivity (1899), Public Domain, via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/foreignfinchesin00butlrich#page/n107/mode/1up

For further information:
Butler, Arthur G. (Gardiner). 1899. "The Green Cardinal, Gubernatrix cristata Vieill." Foreign Finches in Captivity: 64-68. Second edition. Illustrated by F.W. Frohawk. Hull and London, England: Brumby and Clarke, Limited.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/17195845
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/foreignfinchesin00butlrich#page/64/mode/1up
"Características del cardenal amarillo." Cardenalamarillo.org > El cardenal amarillo.
Available @ http://www.cardenalamarillo.org.ar/index.php/el-cardenal-amarillo/caracteristicas-biologicas
Narosky, Tito; and Darío Yzurieta. 2011. Birds of Argentina & Uruguay: A Field Guide / Guía para la identificación de las aves de Argentina-Uruguay. Buenos Aires Argentina: Zagier & Urruty.
Paynter, Raymond A., Jr.; and Robert W. Storer. 1970. "Gubernatrix cristata." Check-List of Birds of the World, vol. XIII: 210. Cambridge MA: Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1970.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/14483445
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/checklistofbirds131970pete#page/210/mode/1up
Peña, Martín de la ; and Maurice Rumboll. 2001. Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, Princeton Illustrated Checklists.
Peterson, Alan P., M.D. "Gubernatrix cristata (Vieillot) 1817." Zoonomen: Zoological Nomenclature Resource > Birds of the World -- Current Valid Scientific Avian Names > Passeriformes > Emberizidae > Gubernatrix
Available @ http://www.zoonomen.net/avtax/pass.html
Ridgely, Robert S.; and Guy Tudor. 2009. Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines. Austin TX: University of Texas Press, Mildred Wyatt-World Series in Ornithology.
Ross, Gordon. 1916. "Chapter XIII Forestry: spruce." Argentina and Uruguay: 280. New York NY: The Macmillan Company.
Available via Google Books @ https://books.google.com/books?id=LfABAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA280&lpg=PA280&dq
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/argentinauruguay00ross#page/280/mode/1up
Available via Project Gutenberg @ http://www.gutenberg.org/files/56186/56186-h/56186-h.htm#CHAPTER_XIII
Temminck, C.J. (Coenraad Jacob); and le Baron Meiffren Laugier de Chartrouse. 1838. Nouveau Recueil de Planches Coloriées d'Oiseaux, Pour Servir de Suite et de Complément aux Planches Enluminées de Buffon, Édition In-Folio et In-4 de l'Imprimerie Royale, 1770. D'après les Dessins de MM. Huet et Prêtre, Peintres Attachés au Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. Vol. III: pages 223-224, Planches 63-64 MDCCCXXXVIII.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/36704964
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/Nouveaurecueild3Temm#page/63/mode/1up
van Perlo, Ber. 2015. Birds of South America: Passerines. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, Princeton Illustrated Checklists.
Vieillot, Louis Pierre. 1817. "Le Gros-bec à huppe jaune, Coccothraustes cristata, Vieill." Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle, Appliquée aux Arts, à l'Agriculture, à l'Économie Rurale et Domestique, à la Médecine, etc. Tome XIII: 531. Paris, France: Chez Deterville, MDCCCXVII.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/18057677
"Yellow Cardinal (Gubernatrix cristata)." Arkive > Species > Birds.
Available @ https://www.arkive.org/yellow-cardinal/gubernatrix-cristata/


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