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The Elusive Painted Bunting


painted bunting male in sarasota audubon preserve

The elusive Painted Bunting evaded us for almost the whole 2 weeks we were traveling around looking for him, till the very last day out looking. Spotted him in the Sarasota Audubon Preserve just as we were about to give up. Rewarded for patience once again!


From E-Birds: Incomparably beautiful songbird in which adult males are almost too colorful, with a jarring combination of rich blue head, bright red underparts, and lime green back. Females and immature males are plain green and unstreaked, not brown-toned like other buntings. Breeds in shrubby fields and forest edges, where males often sing from a high exposed perch. Found in a variety of weedy or thickety habitats in winter, often in small flocks that like to stay low and hidden. Sometimes visits feeders. Two disjunct populations look and sound very similar, but have different migration routes. Eastern birds, mainly breeding in Georgia and South Carolina, just migrate south to Florida and the Caribbean for the winter. Larger western population centered in Texas migrates to western Mexico and then filters south through Central America.

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