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Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea


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Indigo Bunting, male
credit: Dan Pancamo/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals view all from this family

Description ADULT NONBREEDING MALE Has blotchy brown and blue plumage (caused by brown feather edges); resplendent again by spring. ADULT FEMALE Has brown plumage overall, darker above than below and with two faint wing bars and faint streaking on underparts. JUVENILE Recalls adult female; by first spring, male acquires some blue elements of adult's plumage, but still looks blotchy.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2" (14 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Sep) to weedy fields, scrubby margins to deciduous woods, and similar habitats, often found in the vicinity of water. Winters mainly in Central America.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Southwest, Northwest, California, Western Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, New England, Southeast, Great Lakes, Florida, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Eastern Canada

Voice Song is a slightly descending series of chirpy, slurred whistles, ending in a trilling flourish; call is a sharp stik.

Discussion Familiar roadside bird in many areas, and stunning male sometimes perches on fence wires, twitching tail in an agitated manner. Forms flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are dissimilar. ADULT BREEDING MALE Has mostly uniformly bright blue plumage, darkest and grayest on flight feathers; bill is silvery gray and conical.