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Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Indigo Bunting

Passerin indigo

Passerina cyanea

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

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. The Indigo Bunting nests 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.

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: In recent years, the number Indigo Buntings have been 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 south-eastern Texas, Mexico and Central America.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society

Classic Collection of North American Birds