Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)
- Male painted buntings have red breasts and rumps, green backs, blue heads and dark wings. Females are greenish above and buff below.
- Life History
- Painted buntings are common in many parts of Texas. Around sunrise, males will briefly perch and sing on top of the brush they live in. When the brightly colored male is noticed, he is often mistakenly thought to be an escaped tropical bird. Male painted buntings have been used as caged birds in some areas due to their bright colors and beautiful voice.
Even though painted buntings are fairly common birds in much of Texas they are rarely seen. Their habit of remaining in deep brush except when the male sings early in the morning often cause them to be overlooked. Although primarily seed eaters, painted buntings rarely come to backyard feeders because they dislike being so far from cover. They also feed on insects.
- These beautiful birds prefer the heavier cover found around streams, forest edges and other areas with dense under story.
- Painted buntings are common summer residents in much of Texas, and the southeastern U.S. and Mexico. In the fall they migrate south to Mexico, Panama and a number of Caribbean islands.
- Painted buntings are part of a genus including the gorgeous blue indigo and lazuli buntings. The Greek myth of Scylla who turned into the bird keiris, inspired the name ceris for the beautiful painted bunting.