Are cardinals and crows related?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Cardinals and crows are actually not closely related at all. Although they are both birds, they belong to different families and have distinct characteristics.

Let’s start with cardinals. These beautiful birds are members of the Cardinalidae family, which also includes grosbeaks and buntings. Cardinals are known for their vibrant plumage, with the males displaying a striking red coloration. They are primarily found in North and South America. Cardinals are seed-eating birds and are often seen in gardens and wooded areas.

On the other hand, crows are part of the Corvidae family, which includes magpies, jackdaws, ravens, rooks, and other species of crows. Crows are known for their intelligence and adaptability. They have a sleek black plumage and are found in various parts of the world. Crows are omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of food including insects, fruits, seeds, and small animals.

So, while both cardinals and crows are passerines, which means they belong to the order Passeriformes (perching birds), they are distant relatives within this large group. They have evolved separately and have distinct characteristics and behaviors.

It’s interesting to note that even within the Corvidae family, crows and ravens are more closely related to each other than they are to cardinals. Ravens, for example, are larger birds with a more robust build and are known for their deep, croaking calls.

Cardinals and crows are not closely related. They belong to different families within the passerine order and have distinct characteristics, behaviors, and habitats.