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Indigo Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by mmdnje
Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April, 2007
Passerina cyanea


L. 5 1/2" (14 cm)

  • Bright blue, almost iridescent plumage (color produced by diffraction)
  • Crown is darker with a purple tint
  • Wings and tail have some black


  • Plain brown
  • Paler beneath

Similar Species

Photo © by marhowie
Kempner, Hill Country, Texas, USA, April 2009

Blue Grosbeak, which is bigger and has rusty wingbars; Blue Bunting is very similar, but has a dark blue body, brighter blue supercilium and forecrown and is only occasionally found in the USA, in extreme south Texas, as a vagrant.


Breeds throughout the eastern United States east of eastern North Dakota, western Colorado, and western New Mexico. Rare to uncommon west of range. Winters south to Greater Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Accidental vagrant to the UK and Sweden.


This is a monotypic species[1].


2nd Spring First Year Male
Photo © by KC Foggin
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, April 2018

Brushy slopes, abandoned farmland, old pastures and fields grown to scrub, woodland clearings, and forest edges adjacent to fields.



Forages in trees, shrubs and on the ground for insects, buds, berries and seeds.


A compact woven cup of leaves and grass is built in bush or sapling in quite thick vegetation, a few feet from the ground. The 3 or 4 white to pale blue eggs are incubated by the female for 12 to 14 days.


A fast, lively warble, with each phrase or note repeated twice.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1