The Bunting - Painted Buntings and Indigo Buntings
Eastern hemisphere Buntings are a group of African and
Eurasian passerine birds from the family Emberizidae. All
Buntings eat seeds and insects and have conical bills that
They are the Old World equivalent to the Sparrow as far as
being ubiquitous, but there is no relationship. Buntings are
similar in habit to the Finch, which they were originally
thought to be. Other emberizids are still called Finches.
There are also two species called Bunting which are classed
as part of the Cardinal family (Cardinalidae), these are the
Painted and the Indigo Buntings.
The Painted Bunting is a bright blue, red and green
feathered songbird native to North America. The male during
the breeding season is one of the most colorful birds to be
seen in the Americas, although their shyness and their
favored habitat of thickets and woodland edges make them
difficult to spot.
The species has two different breeding populations: one in
the south-central United States and the other along the
Southeastern United States seaboard.
Painted Buntings were formerly popular as cage birds, but
their numbers are shrinking due to habitat destruction and
they are now protected in the United States. However, they
are still often the target of trappers because of their
bright plumage and are a favorite pet bird in Mexico.
The male Indigo Bunting, like the name suggests, is a
brilliantly blue bird during the mating season. They are
often seen in old fields and along roadsides, migrating from
Canada down to northern Florida for breeding, and as far
south as northern South America for the winter. They prefer
land that has been abandoned rather than urban areas, deep
forests or intensely farmed areas. Females and the young are
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