- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WELSH, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says one of its biologists has documented a desert bird on a wooded roadside in southwest Louisiana.

Spokesman Trey Iles says in a news release that if the Louisiana Bird Records Committee verifies the photograph, the Dec. 18 sighting will be logged as Louisiana’s first for the desert cardinal, or pyrrhuloxia (pir-uh-LOK-see-uh).

It’s a gray-and-red relative of the bright red eastern cardinal. The species is common in the deserts of the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, but rare east of Texas.

Iles says Dan O’Malley of the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program spotted the bird during the Lacassine-Thornwell Christmas Bird Count. O’Malley played a recording of the bird’s call to attract it for a photo.

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Online:

Cornell Ornithology Lab on the species: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pyrrhuloxia/id

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