Kelly Vaughn

Also known as desert cardinals, pyrrhuloxias (Cardinalis sinuatus) live year-round in Arizona and are found primarily in scrubby desert thickets and mesquite trees. As their nickname indicates, these songbirds are in the cardinal family, which means their heads are adorned with the same dapper red crests that mark their northern cardinal counterparts. Males, such as the one pictured here, have red breasts on brown-gray bodies, but their stout, rounded beaks distinguish them from other cardinal species. The birds forage for seeds, fruit and insects, and they’re particularly drawn to cotton cutworms and weevils.