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The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) belongs to the Passerina genus of birds in the Cardinal family Cardinalidae. Nicknames: nonpareil (Fr., having no equal), Mariposa Pintada (Sp., Painted Butterfly).
The male Painted Bunting is often described as the most beautiful bird in North America. Its beautiful colors, dark blue head, green back, red rump and underparts, make it easy to identify. Their striking colors and warbled song have made them a popular cage bird in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The plumage of female and juvenile Painted Buntings is green and yellow-green, serving as camouflage in thickets, woodland edges and brushy areas.
Painted Buntings are mostly monogamous and are solitary or in pairs during breeding season. They are shy, secretive and often difficult to see. Males sing from exposed perches and often hop on the ground. They eat seeds, insects and caterpillars. Populations are declining on the East Coast where habitat is being lost to "development". The breeding range includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana.
Male brightly colored, female drabber and entirely green.
Song is high-pitched, thin, and sweet, consisting of short phrases of variable pitch. Call is a soft rising chip.
Passerin nonpareil, Bruant nonpareil (French)
Colorsietecolores, Gorriabeziazul (Spanish)
Head and nape blue. Back shiny green. Rump, throat, chest, flanks, belly, and undertail coverts red. Eyering red. Wings and tail dark gray.
Crown, nape, and back rather bright olive-green. Throat, chest, and belly yellow-green. Head may show some blue feathers.
Open brushlands, thickets, and scattered woodlands. Along Atlantic coast, also in hedges and yards.
Insects, insect larvae, and spiders in breeding season. Seeds in fall and winter.