Adult male © David Hollie eBird S18582023 Macaulay Library ML 26622721
Female/immature male © Lloyd Davis
Immature male © Bryan Calk
Female/immature male © Shawn Billerman
Adult male © Seth Honig
+ 2
Adult male © Joshua Emm

Painted Bunting Passerina ciris

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Incomparably beautiful songbird in which adult males are almost too colorful, with a jarring combination of rich blue head, bright red underparts, and lime green back. Females and immature males are plain green and unstreaked, not brown-toned like other buntings. Breeds in shrubby fields and forest edges, where males often sing from a high exposed perch. Found in a variety of weedy or thickety habitats in winter, often in small flocks that like to stay low and hidden. Sometimes visits feeders. Two disjunct populations look and sound very similar, but have different migration routes. Eastern birds, mainly breeding in Georgia and South Carolina, just migrate south to Florida and the Caribbean for the winter. Larger western population centered in Texas migrates to western Mexico and then filters south through Central America.