Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Red-cowled Cardinal Paroaria dominicana


Endemic to northeast Brazil, ranging south as far as the state of Minas Gerais, the Red-cowled Cardinal is a generally common species in semi-open areas of scrubby woodland, especially Caatinga. Identification should be unproblematic, given that this species is not found in sympatry with any other cardinal species. Like other cardinals, the sexes are basically alike and have a red head, white underparts, and dark gray back spotted white, becoming marginally paler over the lower back and rump. The Red-cowled Cardinal is often found around habitation, and is frequently kept as a cagebird, which is probably the only significant threat to its conservation.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Bret Whitney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Red-cowled Cardinal (Paroaria dominicana), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: