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A bird of subtly beautiful colors, the Varied Bunting inhabits arid brushy woodlands and clearings of essentially Mexico.


Appearance

Lazuli Buntings are small songbirds with a sort, thick bill. During breeding season, males are dark, purplish, with a red nape. They could also have a blue crown and rump with a reddish purple body and red nape. They appear dark purplish overall from a distance. Females are dull tan. After breeding season, they are basically brown overall. Immature Lazuli Buntings resemble females.

Adults are 4.3-5.5 inches (11-14 centimeters) in length, 0.4-0.5 ounces (11-13 grams) in weight, and have a wingspan of 8.3 inches (21 centimeters).

Occurrence

Varied Buntings occur in arid thorn brush, riparian areas, scrub forest, canyons, and desert washes.
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Varied Bunting range map

Life History

Diet

Varied Buntings eat insects, seeds, and fruit.

Nesting

The nest is an open cup of grass and spider webs, placed near the outer branches of thorny shrubs. They have two to five eggs in each clutch. The eggs are pale blue or green, with variable amount of speckling and spotting. At hatching, the hatchlings are helpless with sparse down.

Behavior

Mated pairs forage together, gleaning insects from leaves and pecking on the ground for seeds.

Sounds

Thier song is a long warble consisting of rising and falling phrases, as well as short descending burry notes.

The call notes include simple chips and buzzes.

Conservation

There is little information on Varied Bunting population trends. These beautiful buntings are a common cage bird in Mexico. Development of habitat for agriculture, mining, urban development, and other human uses may pose a threat.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Varied Bunting usually begins nesting in late May or early June, but in the absence of summer rains, may delay nest-building until August.
  • Essentially nothing has been published about the natural history of the Varied Bunting in the heart of its range in Mexico.
  • Varied Buntings are called Azulillo Morado (in Spanish) and Passerin varié (in French).
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