5-6, see text
Five or six species are placed here. They are all very similar-looking birds, resembling a northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, a true member of the Cardinalidae), though they are somewhat more slender, in particular the rather tanager-like bill.
Their coloration is also typical; they are quite unlike any Cardinalidae, though they bear a passing resemblance to adult male rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). Like these, they are white below and dark above (grey to blackish in the case of Paroaria). But unlike P. ludovicianus, they have no conspicuous pattern except for the head, which has large amounts of bright red; it may be predominantly so or patterned red-and-black. Almost all Paroaria have at least a short crest. The bill is yellowish below or in its entirety.
The genus Paroaria was introduced by the French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1832. The name is from Tiéguacú paroára, a name for a small yellow, red and grey bird in the extinct Tupi language.
Media related to Paroaria at Wikimedia Commons