Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis)


French: Paroare rougecap German: Schwarzkehltangare Spanish: Cardenilla capirroja

Tanagra gularis


, 1766,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Along with P. nigrogenis, P. baeri and P. capitata, has sometimes been placed in Coccopsis. Previously considered conspecific with P. nigrogenis (which see). Race cervicalis appears closer genetically to P. capitata and has been proposed for species rank#R, but difference small and specimens from S of range of nominate have reduced black around eyes, suggesting that variation possibly clinal; present species and P. capitata might be treated as conspecific. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. g. gularis (Linnaeus, 1766) – Red-capped Cardinal – E Colombia (S Meta S to Amazonas), E Ecuador and E Peru, S Venezuela (W Amazonas and S Bolívar), the Guianas, and Amazonian lowlands of NC Brazil (including R Negro and mouth of R Amazon).
  • P. g. cervicalis P. L. Sclater, 1862 – Bolivian Cardinal – N & E Bolivia (Pando, E La Paz, Beni, E Cochabamba and Santa Cruz) and adjacent Brazil (W Mato Grosso).
  • Introduced (probably nominate) in Valle del Cauca, Colombia#R.

    Descriptive notes

    16·5 cm; 20·8–32 g. A medium-sized passerine, relatively slim and with flat crown and rounded peak on rear crown, in essence a short “mane” (often not visible); bill longer... read more


    Song a hesitating, repetitive series of warbles, “cheeber wee? cheeber wee? cheeber”, described... read more


    Shrubbery and dense edge areas around lakes, ponds, cochas (artificial lagoons), and slow-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Vegetable items ranging from seeds to berries, also arthropods. Forages mostly on ground; sometimes while perched on floating vegetation on... read more


    Nest constructed from dry grasses and twigs, with softer lining, placed in fork of branch in isolated bush or small tree overhanging water... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common, and often conspicuous. Said to be very common in interior of Guyana, but rare in Suriname; possibly only a vagrant in French... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 May 2019).