Head to Hawaii to See a Red Crested Cardinal

If you love northern cardinals, you may want to book a trip to Hawaii, South America or Puerto Rico to see the unique and gorgeous red crested cardinal.

Bnbbyc19 Richard Ketai
Courtesy Richard Ketai

Red Crested Cardinal

“This bird appears to be a red crested cardinal, a Hawaiian bird that resembles the commonly seen northern cardinal. (Psst—check out more birds that look like cardinals). Only the bird’s head is red, not the rest of its body. I snapped a photo of this curious bird on Kauai after he landed on a chair near where I was having breakfast,” says Richard Ketai. This medium sized songbird, which is native to South America, has a light colored breast with dark gray colored wings and tail. Discover fascinating cardinal bird facts.

Bnbbyc17 Thomas Lilly
Courtesy Thomas Lilly

Hawaiian Cardinal

“I love cardinals! While I was in Kauai this summer, I came across this Hawaiian cardinal. I spent over an hour one morning trying to get this picture,” says Thomas Lilly. Check out more simply stunning bird photos of cardinals.

Bnbbyc17 Pamela Nabors
Courtesy Pamela Nabors

Curious Cardinal

“I love the inquisitive nature of this little red crested cardinal. He is a regular visitor to our yard,” says Pamela Nabors. Did you know—red crested cardinals can also be spotted in Puerto Rico. Discover proven ways to attract and identify northern cardinals.

red crested cardinal

Camera Loving Cardinal

“I took this shot close to my former home in the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. This is a red crested cardinal, taking a break on a tree trunk at a beach park during the spring season. He was very inquisitive and didn’t mind me taking so many pictures of him. He was almost posing and showing me his different sides as if he was used to having his photo taken! There are so many beautiful birds in Hawaii and on this day, this little guy was giving me some personal time,” says Carla Walsh. Do northern cardinals mate for life?

red crested cardinal
Courtesy David Golding

Rainy Day Redbird

“I took this photo while walking in Maui. The bird is a red crested cardinal (psst—have you ever seen a desert cardinal?) It was lightly raining and darker than normal for a morning there,” says David Golding. Don’t miss these cute baby cardinal photos.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.