Pyrrhuloxia. Males of this gray desert cardinal have red patches on face, crest, breast, wings and tail. Females lack red. The thick conical bill is an obvious mark.
The House Finch, the most common and widespread of the three, typically has a red head, breast, and rump, but does not have red coloring on its brown back or wings.
In general, chickadees will have black heads, or caps, with white cheeks. The back feathers will be some shade of gray. The wing feathers will also be gray, but with white edges.
Pyrrhuloxia. Pyrrhuloxia birds look like cardinals; in fact, they are sometimes called the desert cardinal. This species an be found in the Southwest and has the same impressive crest as the northern cardinal. The coloring is a bit different, though: Male pyrrhuloxias are mostly gray with red accents.
Pyrrhuloxia: the Gray Cardinal. (Cardinalis sinuatus) Similar to the female and juvenile Northern Cardinal, the Pyrrhuloxia’s thick, strongly curved, parrot-like orange-yellow bill helps identify it.
If you catch any glimpses of red, then you can be fairly sure you’ve just seen a House Finch. The males of this species have red faces, breasts, and rumps. By contrast, House Sparrow males have gray heads, whitish cheeks, and a black bib under the chin.
Pileated Woodpeckers are mostly black with white stripes on the face and neck and a flaming-red crest. Males have a red stripe on the cheek. In flight, the bird reveals extensive white underwings and small white crescents on the upper side, at the bases of the primaries.
There are no red headed wrens.
Downy Woodpecker (Male)
At just 6 to 7 inches long, these birds can be difficult to spot, but they are common in forests, urban areas, parks, and other habitats. Male downy woodpeckers feature a bright red patch on the back of the head.
The Black-tailed Gnatcatcher is a small, non-migratory often mistaken for a chickadee. This bird measures only 5″ inches in length, and can be found year round on both coasts of California and as far north as Washington state; they can also be found all along the West Coast of North America.
Measurements. Soft silvery gray above and white below, with a rusty or peach-colored wash down the flanks. A black patch just above the bill makes the bird look snub-nosed. Tufted Titmice are acrobatic foragers, if a bit slower and more methodical than chickadees.
Small, nondescript brown bird with a short tail, thin bill, and dark barring on wings and tail with a paler throat.
Meaning: Someone who is a Grey Cardinal exerts power behind the scenes, without drawing attention to himself or herself.
So, which birds look like cardinals? Cardinal look-alike birds are pyrrhuloxias, phainopeplas, vermilion flycatchers, scarlet tanagers, summer tanagers, and more. Surprisingly, a pyrrhuloxia could be confused with a female northern cardinal, since they’re quite similar.
Pyrrhuloxias are habitat specialists, so look for them in desert scrub of the Southwest, where they look (and sound) like crisp, gray-and-red cardinals. The short, curved, yellow bill and long crest are good points to distinguish it from the Northern Cardinal, which can also occur in the desert.
The plumage of female cardinals differs from the males for all three species; the Northern, Vermilion and Desert cardinal. Whilst males are almost 100% red, barring their distinctive black face mask and duller upperwings, females are predominantly brown-greyish with a hint of green in some subspecies.
Cardinals are assigned one of three ranks by the pope at the time of their appointment: cardinal bishop, cardinal priest, and cardinal deacon.
Baby cardinals are gray and naked and lack their parents’ pointy crest.
The grey wren (Cantorchilus griseus) is a species of bird in the family Troglodytidae. It is endemic to the southwestern part of Amazonas state in Brazil. This small, poorly known wren somewhat resembles a house wren, but its upperparts are gray.
The house wren is the most widespread native songbird in the Western Hemisphere, nesting throughout much of Canada and down to the southernmost reaches of South America as well as on the Caribbean islands. It is so common that almost any U.S. resident with backyard trees and shrubs should know this bird.
They’re very entertaining to watch, as they run, jump, and leap while they hunt in the shallows. You can distinguish them from little blue herons by their obviously pinkish-red head and neck. Fascinating Fact: Reddish egrets also have a white morph form that resembles a snowy egret.