The Pyrrhuloxia is a medium-sized North American perching bird found in the American southwest and northern Mexico. This distinctive species with a short, stout bill, red crest and wings, closely resembles the Northern Cardinal and the Vermilion Cardinal, both belongs to same family. It is 25 cm long and weighs 45 gms.
The most obvious differences between the male Desert Cardinal and the Northern Cardinal are the former's largely coloring. The Desert Cardinal is predominantly brownish-gray with a red breast, a red mask, and a yellow parrot-like bill that is stout and rounded. The females of the two species resemble each other much more closely, but the shapes of their bills are diagnostic. This cardinal retains the distinctive long pointed red crest present in all species.