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Lazuli Bunting

Passerina amoena ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CARDINALIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A beautifully colored bird, the Lazuli Bunting is common in shrubby areas throughout the American West.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.1–5.9 in
13–15 cm
Wingspan
8.7 in
22 cm
Weight
0.5–0.6 oz
13–18 g
Other Names
  • Bruant azuré (French)
  • Gorrión cabeziazul, Gorrión de cabeza azul (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Each male Lazuli Bunting two years of age and older sings only one song, composed of a series of different syllables, and unique to that individual. Yearling males generally arrive on the breeding grounds without a song of their own. Shortly after arriving, a young male develops its own song, which can be a novel rearrangement of syllables, combinations of song fragments of several males, or a copy of the song of one particular older male.
  • Song copying by young male Lazuli Buntings can produce song neighborhoods, in which songs of neighboring males are similar.
  • The Lazuli Bunting has a unique pattern of molt and migration. Individuals begin their Prebasic molt during late summer on the breeding grounds, then interrupt this molt and migrate to one of two known molting "hotspots" southern Arizona and New Mexico and northern Sonora, or the southern tip of Baja California where they finish molting before continuing their migration to wintering grounds in western Mexico.
  • The oldest recorded Lazuli Bunting was a male, and at least 9 years, 1 month old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Idaho.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Bushy hillsides, riparian habitats, wooded valleys, sagebrush, chaparral, open scrub, recent post-fire habitats, thickets and hedges along agricultural fields, and residential gardens.

Food


Insects

Seeds, fruits, and insects. Comes to bird feeders.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–6 eggs
Egg Description
Pale greenish blue.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with sparse down.
Nest Description

Open cup of coarse grasses, rootlets, strips of bark, and leaves, lined with fine grass, rootlets, and animal hairs. Wrapped in silk. Placed in shrub, close to ground.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Ground Forager

Gleans insects off foliage of trees and shrubs. Hops on ground eating seeds. Often perches on stems of grasses and other plants, removing seeds with bill. Flycatches for insects.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Lazuli Bunting are common and widespread, and populations remained stable between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 5.6 million birds, with 86% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 97% in Mexico, and 14% breeding in Canada. The species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Lazuli Bunting is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.

Credits

Range Map Help

Lazuli Bunting Range Map
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