Varied Bunting

Passerina versicolor

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae)

Code 4

VABU

Code 6

PASVER

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Varied Bunting has a large range, estimated globally at 1,400,000 square kilometers. Native to Guatemala, Canada, the United States, and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 500,000 to 5,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Varied Bunting is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Varied Bunting: Medium bunting, mostly purple-blue with red wash on throat, breast, back. Nape and eye-rings are red. Bill is gray and slightly curved down. Wings and tail are purple-blue. Female has brown upperparts with buff underparts. Eats seeds and insects. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.

 

Range and Habitat

Varied Bunting: Occurs across Mexico south to Guatemala. Breeding range extends north into extreme southern Texas, southeast and southwest New Mexico, and southern Arizona. In New Mexico they occur at Guadalupe Canyon in Hidalgo County, and also less regularly in Dona Ana County and in canyons of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Winters in Mexico. Prefers thickets in canyons and washes.

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Varied Bunting SONGS AND CALLS

Varied Bunting A1

Call is a short "chip".

Varied Bunting A2

Song is a series of high-pitched, warbling notes that rise and fall.

Similar Sounding

Painted Bunting A1

Song is a series of high-pitched whistled phrases.


Voice Text

"spik"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Varied Bunting is unevenly distributed and inconspicuous, so very little is known about it.
  • Eggs are polymorphic in color among populations, a rare phenomenon in passerine birds.
  • They spend most of their time concealed in dense desert brush, coming into view only when the male sings from the top of a bush.
  • A group of buntings are collectively known as a "decoration", "mural", and "sacrifice" of buntings.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X