Painted Bunting

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image: paintedbunting.jpg

Common Name: Painted Bunting
Scientific Name: Passerina ciris

Size: 5.5 inches (12-13cm)

Habitat: North America. Summers: Breeds in two different regions. Western population ranges from southern Missouri and Kansas to the Gulf Coast and northern Mexico. Eastern population breeds along the Atlantic coast from central North Carolina to north-central Florida. Winters: Western population winters in Mexico southward to Panama. Eastern population winters on the Florida peninsula, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and rarely in Cuba. Found in Open brushlands, thickets, and scattered woodlands and along the Atlantic coast in hedges and yards.

Status: Near Threatened. Global Population: 4,500,000 mature individuals. Breeding Bird Surveys show a steady decline in overall population since 1965. Males are targets of trappers for the pet bird trade, especially in Mexico. Listed as a species of special concern on the Partners in Flight WatchList.

Diet: Insects, insect larvae, and spiders

Breeding: Nests are a deep, neatly woven cup of plant fibers, lined with hair or fine grass. Usually placed in low vegetation. 3-4 Grayish or bluish-white eggs with gray or brown speckles are laid.

Cool Facts: The western population of Painted Buntings begins its fall migration before molting, molts in staging areas in southern Arizona and northern Mexico, then continues to migrate further south. This migration-molt pattern is common among waterfowl but very rare among songbirds. In contrast to the western population, the eastern population of Painted Buntings molts on its breeding grounds before migration.

Male Painted Buntings are highly territorial and aggressive toward each other. Fights between males, which include pecking, beating with wings, and grappling, sometimes result in death.

Found in Songbird ReMix Cool and Unusual Birds 2

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