Cardinalis igneus, Baird, Proc. Acad. Philad. 1859, p. 305.
Cardinalis igneus, Sclater, Cat. Amer. Birds, p. 100 pt. (1862).
Cardinalis virginianus, var. (igneus) Scl. et Salv. Exot. Ornith, p. 63 (1868).
Cardinalis igneus, Coues, Proc. Acad. Philad. 1868, p. 84.
Cardinalis igneus, Elliot, Birds N. Amer. i. pl. xvi. (1869).
Cardinalis igneus, Cooper, Orn. Calif, i. p. 238 (1870).
Cardinalis igneus, Gray, Hand-List Birds, ii. p. 102 (1870).
Cardinalis virginianus, Finsch, Abh. Nat. Brem. 1870, p. 339.
Cardinalis virginianus, var. igneus, Baird, Brew, et Rigdw. Hist. N. Amer. Birds, ii. p. 103 (1874).
Cardinalis virginianus igneus, Ridgw. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. iii. 1881, pp. 181, 218, 232.
Cardinalis virginianus igneus, Rigdw. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. iv. 1882, p. 212.
Cardinalis virginianus igneus, Belding, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. v. 1883, p. 511.
Cardinalis virginianus igneus, Belding, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. vi. 1884, pp. 343, 345.
Cardinalis cardinalis igneus, Stejn. Auk, i. p. 171 (1884).
Cardinalis igneus, Salvin et Godm. Biol. Centr.-Amer. i. p. 341 (1884).
Cardinalis eardinalis superbus, Ridgw. Auk, ii. p. 344 (1885).
Cardinalis cardinalis igneus (Baird), B. O. U. Check-List, N. Amer. B. p. 286 (1886).
Cardinalis eardinalis superbus, Ridgw. Check-List of N. Amer. B. p. 286 (1886).
Figure, Elliot, Birds N. Amer. pl. xvi.
English. Saint Lucas Cardinal. Cape Cardinal. Fiery Cardinal and Arizona Cardinal.
Habitat. North-Western America. Louver California. Arizona, and Western Mexico.
Cardinalis igneus, Baird.
Male. Similar to C. virginianus, but not larger ; the bill is more powerful, with culmen greatly curved ; the black frontal band not so decided, and divided by the culmen ; the black of the chin and throat less extended ; general colour paler, with a greater tinge of pink : length 8.5, wing 3.85, tail 4.5, tars. 1.0, culm. 0.7.
Female. Similar to the female of C. virginianus, but with the underparts pale ashy-grey.
Young. Similar to the female, but duller ; “bill deep black ” (Baird).
Cardinalis superbus, Ridgw.
Male. Similar, the vermilion of the crest, cheeks and underparts much purer ; the brick- red of the back paler : length 8.65, wing 3.7, tail 4.6, tars. 1.0, culm. 0.7.
Female. Similar to female of C. igneus with the back dark ashy-grey ; and general colours brighter.
Obser. The species, or varieties, above described, may readily be separated, from the more southern forms, by their less brilliant colours, and more powerful bills, the black frontal band being divided by the culmen. This bird is so closely allied to C. virginianus, that I have considered a plate of it unnecessary.
WE are indebted to Mr. John Xanthus for our first acquaintance with this north-western Cardinal, which was characterised by Professor Spencer F. Baird in 1859, and which I now propose to distinguish from all the other races by the appellation of Baird’s Cardinal, in honour of the describer ; the name Fiery Cardinal being more appropriate for one of the southern varieties.
From the material connected with the habits of this bird, I find they closely resemble those of the Virginian Nightingale ; however, I subjoin the most interesting details from Messrs. Baird, Brewer and Ridgway’s ‘ History of the Birds of North America.’ They say : “There appears to be nothing in the habits of this form of Cardinal, as far as known, to distin¬guish it from the Virginian bird ; the nest and eggs, too, being almost identical. The latter average about 1 inch in length and 0.80 in breadth. Their ground-colour is white, with a bluish tint. Their markings are larger, and more of a rusty than an ashy-brown, and the purple spots are fewer and less marked than in C. virginianus.
“The memorandum of Mr. John Xanthus shows that in one instance a nest of this bird, containing two eggs, was found in a Mimosa bush four feet from the ground ; another nest, with one egg, in a like situation ; a third, containing three eggs, was about three feet from the ground ; a fourth, with two eggs, was also found in a Mimosa, but only a few inches above the ground.”
Mr. R. Ridgway published in ‘The Auk’ for 1885 a “Description of a new Cardinal Grosbeak from Arizona,” and remarks : “The Cardinal Grosbeak from Arizona, hitherto supposed to be identical with C. igneus from Cape St. Lucas, proves, on comparison of numerous specimens, to be easily distinguishable. I therefore propose for it the name Cardinalis cardinalis superbus.” Although Mr. Ridgway kindly lent me specimens of this, his new form, I have united it with C. igneus, to which it is most closely allied ; the bill is not so robust, but the vermilion is much brighter than in the latter bird.
No. Sex. Mus. Locality. Length. Wing. Tail. Tars. Culm.
a Male E. B. La Paz, Lower Califrnia. 8.5 3.85 4.5 1 0.7
b Male E. B. La Paz, Lower Califrnia. 8.4 3.6 4.4 0.95 0.65
1 Male Smithn. Inst. San Jose, North America. 8.25 3.65 4.4 0.95 0.7
2 Female Smithn. Inst. San Jose, North America. 7.95 3.45 3.9 0.95 0.7
Var. Cardinalis superbus, Ridgway.
3 Male Smithn. Inst. Camp Grant, Arizona (Dr. Palmer). 8.65 3.7 4.6 1 0.7
4 Female Smithn. Inst. Tucson, Arizona (E. W. Nelson). 7.7 3.8 4.5 0.9 0.7
The specimens Nos. 1 to 4 were kindly lent to me by Mr. R. Ridgway, of the Smithsonian Institution, for examination, Nos, 3 and 4 being his types of Cardinalis superbus.