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Painted Bunting Passerina ciris


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Painted Bunting, male
credit: Doug Janson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has mostly blue hood, with narrow bright red center to throat; underparts and rump are also bright red. Back is bright yellowish green and wings are brown with green feather margins. ADULT FEMALE Has mostly bright yellowish green upperparts including tail and hood, and mostly paler yellow underparts including narrow throat. JUVENILE Recalls plain, gray-buff version of adult female, with only hint of green on upperparts; by first spring, male has acquired some of adult's blue and red feathering.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2" (14 cm)

Habitat Locally common summer visitor (mainly May-Sep) to dense undergrowth and thickets bordering woods and streams; winters mainly in Central America, but also southern Florida.

Observation Tips Often a challenge to find, despite its bright colors.

Range Plains, Southeast, Florida, Texas, Southwest, California, Mid-Atlantic

Voice Song is a sweet series of warbling whistles; call is a sharp tchip.

Discussion Male is flamboyantly colorful and color combination might be considered vulgar if employed in fashion! Rather secretive nature and unobtrusive habits (often feeds in deep cover) can make it hard to spot. Sexes are dissimilar.