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Varied Bunting

Passerina versicolor ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CARDINALIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of subtly beautiful colors, the Varied Bunting inhabits arid brushy woodlands and clearings. Found throughout most of Mexico, it reaches the northern limits of its range in the borderlands of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
4.3–5.5 in
11–14 cm
Wingspan
8.3 in
21 cm
Weight
0.4–0.5 oz
11–13 g
Other Names
  • Passerin varié (French)
  • Colorín morado, Gorrión prusiano oriental, Gorrión morado, Mosaico (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • 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.

Habitat


Scrub

Arid thorn brush, riparian areas, scrub forest, canyons, and desert washes.

Food


Insects

Insects, seeds, and fruit.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–5 eggs
Egg Description
Pale blue or green, with variable amount of speckling and spotting.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with sparse down.
Nest Description

An open cup of grass and spider webs, placed near the outer branches of thorny shrubs.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Ground Forager

Mated pair forages together, gleaning insects from leaves and pecking on the ground for seeds.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Common cage bird in Mexico. Development of habitat for agriculture, mining, urban development, and other human uses may pose a threat.

Credits

  • Groschupf, K. D, and C. W. Thompson. 1998. Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor). In The Birds of North America, No. 351 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Varied Bunting Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings