Indigo Bunting

Passerina cyanea




Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to light blue with brown or purple spots

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

1 - 15 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Weeds, bark, and fine material lined with grasses and leaves.





Indigo Bunting: Small finch with brilliant, almost iridescent, blue plumage. Crown is darker blue with a purple tint. Female and juvenile are brown with blurred wingbars, unstreaked backs, streaked breasts and bellies, and blue tinges on shoulders and tails. Winter and first spring males resemble juvenile but are sprinkled with blue feathers.

Range and Habitat

Indigo Bunting: Breeds from southeastern Saskatchewan east to New Brunswick, and south to central Arizona, central Texas, the Gulf coast, and northern Florida. Spends winters in southern Florida and in the tropics. Preferred habitats include brushy slopes, old pastures and fields grown to scrub, woodland clearings, and forest edges adjacent to fields.

Breeding and Nesting

Indigo Bunting: Three or four white to light blue eggs, sometimes with brown or purple spotting, are laid in a compact woven cup of leaves and grass built in a sapling or bush in relatively thick vegetation, usually within a few feet of the ground. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Indigo Bunting: Feeds on seeds, forbs, buds, insects, and berries; forages in trees, shrubs, and on the ground.

Readily Eats

Nyjer, Shelled Sunflower


Indigo Bunting: Song is a rapid, excited warble, with each note or phrase given twice.

Similar Species

Indigo Bunting: Blue Grosbeak is larger with brown wing-bars. Female Lazuli Bunting has white wing-bars.

The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X