Painted Bunting

Passerina ciris

Perhaps no other North American songbird rivals the beauty of the male Painted Bunting. Their coloring seems as if only the brightest colors in the crayon box were used to represent this ornate gem. First year males and females, though not as flashy, are shaded in tones of lime-green hues.

Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and northeastern Mexico are the primary locations these birds migrate in spring to breed, but the coastal slopes of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida also host a breeding summer population. When summer passes and it’s time to move to warmer climates, they head south into places like southern Mexico and Central America, or south Florida and Cuba.

Traditional science classified two subspecies; P. c. pallidior in the interior, and P. c. ciris in the east. Recent studies cast doubt about the validity of this distinction, so many who study these sorts of things now believe that the Indigo Bunting is monotypic (i.e. no subspecies).

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