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Cardinals, in the family Cardinalidae, are passerine birds found in North and South America. They are also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings. The South American cardinals in the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae (previously placed in Emberizidae).
These are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family ranges in size from the 12-cm (4.7 inches), 11.5-gram (.40 oz) Orange-breasted Bunting to the 25-cm (9.8 inches), 85-gram (2.99 oz) Black-headed Saltator[verification needed]. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinctive appearances. The Northern Cardinal type species was named by colonists for the male's red crest, reminiscent of a Catholic cardinal's mitre.