|Male northern cardinal|
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.
They are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family's smallest member is the 12-cm (4.7-in), 11.5-g (0.40-oz) orange-breasted bunting. 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 biretta. 
The "North American buntings" are known as such to distinguish them from buntings of the Old World family Emberizidae. The name "cardinal-grosbeak" can also apply to the cardinalid family as a whole.
A study conducted in 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia, on West Nile virus (WNV) transmission in the United States, found that unlike other species, cardinals biologically suppress the disease upon infection. 
(1) "Masked" clade:
- Yellow cardinal, Gubernatrix cristata
- Genus Periporphyrus
- Red-and-black grosbeak, Periporphyrus erythromelas
- Genus Caryothraustes
- Genus Rhodothraupis
- Crimson-collared grosbeak, Rhodothraupis celaeno
- Genus Cardinalis
- Rose-throated tanager, Piranga roseogularis
- Hepatic tanager, Piranga flava
- Scarlet tanager, Piranga olivacea
- Summer tanager, Piranga rubra
- Western tanager, Piranga ludoviciana
- Flame-colored tanager, Piranga bidentata
- White-winged tanager, Piranga leucoptera
- Red-headed tanager, Piranga erythrocephala
- Red-hooded tanager, Piranga rubriceps
(2) "Blue" clade:
- Genus Amaurospiza
- Genus Cyanocompsa
- Genus Cyanoloxia
- Glaucous-blue grosbeak, Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea
- Genus Passerina, , North American buntings
- Genus Spiza
- Dickcissel, Spiza americana
(3) Ant tanager clade:
- Genus Habia (from Thraupidae)
- Genus Chlorothraupis (from Thraupidae)
(4) "Chat" clade:
- Genus Granatellus (from Parulidae)
(5) "Pheucticus" clade:
- Genus Pheucticus
- Duchesne, Bob (September 21, 2012). "Proliferation of cardinals a fairly recent event". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
- Search "cardinalidae" at IUCN Red List Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. for more info.
- Levine, Rebecca S.; et al. (9 June 2016). "Supersuppression: Reservoir Competency and Timing of Mosquito Host Shifts Combine to Reduce Spillover of West Nile Virus". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
- Hilty, Steven L (2003) Birds of Venezuela London: Christopher Helm, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
- ffrench, Birds of Trinidad and Tobago ISBN 0-7136-6759-1
- "National Geographic" Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
- Klicka, John; Burns, Kevin; Spellman, Garth M. (December 2007). "Defining a monophyletic Cardinalini: A molecular perspective". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 45 (3): 1014–1032. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.550.1550. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2007.07.006. PMID 17920298.
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