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Painted Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by richard bledsoe
Sebastian, Florida, USA, February 2005
Passerina ciris


5 1/2" (14 cm)

  • Bright red underparts and rump
  • Green back
  • Blue head
  • Red eye ring


  • Bright green all over
  • Paler below
  • Pale eye ring


Photo © by marhowie
Kempner, Hill Country, Texas, May 2009

Two ranges:
Western range includes eastern New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, southern Kansas, southern Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, western Mississippi, and northern Mexico.

Eastern range includes South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Winters south to Panama and the Greater Antilles.

Accidental vagrant north and west of range.



1st year male, Subspecies pallidor
Photo © by Jones Stanley Jones
Laguna Seca Ranch, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, April 2019

This is a polytypic species, consisting of two subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. pallidior:
  • P. c. ciris:


Open areas with dense brush at all seasons.


Males will fight to hold territories; these fights are sometimes bloody and even fatal.


Their main diet consists of seeds and insects, which they generally find on the ground or in a low brush.


Photo © by Stanley Jones
Lick Creek Nature Center, College Station, Brazos County, Texas, USA, May 2020

They are territorial with males defending the territory by singing from a high perch, often hidden in the gallery. They are generally monogamous though polygyny may occur. There will usually be two clutches.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Audubon
  3. Brewer, D. (2019). Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/62218 on 11 August 2019).

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