Varied Bunting Life History


Habitat ScrubArid thorn brush, riparian areas, scrub forest, canyons, and desert washes.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects, seeds, and fruit.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Shrub

Nest Description

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

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.
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Behavior Ground ForagerMated pair forages together, gleaning insects from leaves and pecking on the ground for seeds.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernThere is little information on Varied Bunting population trends. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2 million, with 99% spending part of the year in Mexico, and 1% breeding in the U.S. The species rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Varied Bunting is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. These beautiful buntings are a common cage bird in Mexico. Development of habitat for agriculture, mining, urban development, and other human uses may pose a threat.Back to top


Groschupf, Kathleen D. and Christopher W. Thompson. (1998). Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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