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Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Indigo Bunting

Passerin indigo

Passerina cyanea

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities

Species: The Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), a commonly found small sparrow-sized bird, whose habitat is along bushy roadsides, new regrowth forests, older abandoned farm fields and forest edges.

Distinctions: Breeding males have all blue plumages and an even darker blue head. The plumage appears black in colour when seen in direct sunlight. In non-breeding season, the male appears mostly brown with blue patches. The female, when in breeding plumage, shows lighter brown plumage, a streaked breast with a white throat. In non-breeding season, the female and the juvenile Indigo Buntings appear in light brown plumage over all.

Voice: Loud rapid lyrics, with repeated notes, the male sings right into the late summer months.

Nesting: Three to four light blue eggs per clutch, often two broods per year. Itnests on the ground and in smaller bushes close to the ground, hidden among the vegetation. Nest is constructed from grasses and leaves and are built in the shape of a small cup.

Birds of North America
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Life, Habitat and Pictures of North American Buntings

B L W W W Family Latin Name
5.5" 14cm 8" 20.3cm 0.5oz 14.2g Cardinalidae Passerina cyanea

North American Bird Calls

  1. Tap to hear Choice 1

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

Distribution: In recent years, the number of these buntings are expanding. The contributing factor is that more older farm lands are being abandoned, the logging of forests, and construction of highways and railways. This bunting is found from southern Manitoba to Nova Scotia, throughout the western central states to Florida. In the non-breeding months, it lives in southern Florida and southeastern Texas, Mexico and Central America.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds