Painted Bunting

Passerina ciris




Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light blue with red brown markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

3 - 6 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Stalks, leaves, and grasses.





Painted Bunting: Beautiful, medium-sized bunting with bronze-green back and bright red rump and underparts. Head and nape are blue. Wings are dark with green shoulder patches. Female has green upperparts, yellow-green underparts and dark wings. Juvenile resembles female but is duller.

Range and Habitat

Painted Bunting: Breeds from Missouri and North Carolina south to the southeastern states and west to New Mexico, Oklahoma, and throughout Texas. Spends winters from the Gulf coast states southward. Preferred habitats include brushy tangles, hedgerows, briar patches, woodland edges, and swampy thickets.

Breeding and Nesting

Painted Bunting: Three to five light blue eggs with red brown markings are laid in a cup nest made of grass stems, rootlets, and bark strips, lined with moss and hair, and built near the ground in a bush or small tree. Incubation ranges from 11 to 12 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Painted Bunting: Eats mostly seeds in winter and insects, spiders, and snails in summer. Forages on the ground; also strips seed from grass stalks or snatches insects from spider webs.

Readily Eats

Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit


Painted Bunting: Song is loud, clear, and variable, consisting of a series of high-pitched musical notes. Call is a sharp, metallic "tsick."

Similar Species

Painted Bunting: Male is unique; female is much greener than other female buntings.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X