Lazuli Bunting

Silhouette BuntingsBuntings

Lazuli Bunting

Passerina amoena
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Cardinalidae
Basic Description

The male Lazuli Bunting lights up dry brushy hillsides, thickets, and gardens throughout the West, flashing the blue of a lapis gemstone mixed with splashes of orange. He belts out his squeaky and jumbling song from atop shrubs to defend his territory. The softly colored female is often nearby teetering on tiny stems in a balancing act to reach seeds and other fare. This stocky finchlike bird is related to cardinals and grosbeaks and often visits bird feeders, especially those filled with white proso millet.

More ID Info
image of range map for Lazuli BuntingRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

During the breeding season, a walk along a trail or road through brushy hillsides and chaparral might lead you to a Lazuli Bunting. Once you are in the right habitat, listen for their fast jumbling song and look high in tall shrubs for a singing male. Males tend to be quite vocal and defensive of their territories especially early in the breeding season. So to catch a singing male, be sure to go looking in April in the southern part of their range or in May in the northern part of their range. They'll be easier to hear in April through June, but these common birds are still fairly visible for the rest of the summer months. During the nonbreeding season scan weedy fields and look for small finchlike birds weighing down grass and weed stems while they eat seeds.

Other Names
  • Azulillo Lapislázuli (Spanish)
  • Passerin azuré (French)

Backyard Tips

Lazuli Buntings frequent bird feeders, especially ones that offer white proso millet, sunflower seeds, or nyjer thistle seeds. Visit Project FeederWatch to learn more about what type of feeder and seed to use.

Create bird friendly habitat in your yard by planting native shrubs to provide foraging and even nesting opportunities for the Lazuli Bunting. Learn more about birdscaping at Habitat Network.

  • Cool Facts