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Indigo Bunting - Passerina cyanea

indigo bunting


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Passeriformes 
 Family: Emberizidae
 Genus: Passerina
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern



indigo buntingThe indigo bunting is 4.5 inches in length with a wingspan of 7-9 inches. It has a small, cone-shaped bill and gray or black legs and feet. The male is a bright blue during breeding season and a duller blue in the winter. The female is brown with a lighter streaked breast and a touch of blue on her tail and shoulders.


mapThe indigo bunting breeds from the Great Plains south to Texas through the eastern United States. It winters from southern Florida south to the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America There are isolated populations found in some areas of the western United States.


indigo buntingThe indigo bunting is found in brushy and weedy areas at the edges of farmland, orchards, woods, powerline and railroad openings, swamps, and streams.



The indigo bunting eats spiders, insects, berries, and seeds. It feeds alone during the breeding season and in flocks in the winter.

Life Cycle

indigo buntingDuring the breeding season, the male chooses and defends a breeding territory. The female indigo bunting chooses a nesting site and builds a nest of leaves, grass, and bark in a shrub. She lays 1-5 eggs and incubates them for 12-14 days. The female feeds and cares for the chicks. The chicks fledge when they are 8-14 days old, but stay with the female for a few more weeks. The female may have more than one brood a year.


The indigo bunting is a neotropical migrator. It usually migrates at night and can travel as far as 2,000 miles to its winter range.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Chris Parrish cc logo