Essentially a desert-dwelling cardinal, found in brushy areas of the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. Shaped much like a Northern Cardinal but with a longer, thinner crest and more rounded bill shape. Plumage is mostly gray with red highlights on the face, crest, belly, wings, and tail. Bill color is usually yellowish, but grayer on immatures. Usually seen in pairs or small flocks, often visiting bird feeders. Song is similar to Northern Cardinal but higher-pitched and more piercing.