Return to Main Page   Dakota Birder Blog    

Blue Bunting

Cyanocompsa parellina

Length: 5.5 inches Wingspan: 8.5 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Male has deep blue body, with brighter blue on forehead, upper wing, rump, and malar.  Females reddish-brown overall.

Blue Bunting - Cyanocompsa parellinaThe Blue Bunting is found in brushy thickets and forest edges in many parts of Mexico and Central America.  In the U.S., they are but rare visitors, with birds occasionally sighted in southern Texas, and once as far east as Louisiana.  Males are a dark blue color overall with brighter blue highlights, while females are a rich reddish-brown overall.

Habitat: Found in brushy fields, woodland edges, and brushy thickets.

Diet: Feeds seeds and insects.

Behavior: Forages in thickets and brush, or low in the forest undergrowth.  May also sometimes forage on the ground.

Nesting: The nest is a small cup made of grasses, rootlets, and other vegetative material, placed relatively low to the ground in a bush or small tree.  The female lays 2 eggs, with the female incubating the eggs.  Both parents help feed the young upon hatching.

Song: Song is a high-pitched warbling of jumbled phrases, tapering off at the end.

Migration: Considered a permanent resident throughout its normal range.  However, birds may disperse short distances after breeding, and disturbance of habitat in northern Mexico has been cited as a potential reason for periodic sightings in southern Texas.

Interactive eBird Map: Click to access an interactive eBird map of Blue Bunting sightings

Feeders: Will visit feeders for various seeds, fruit, and suet.

Similar Species: Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak

Conservation Status: Populations appear to be stable, and the IUCN lists the Blue Bunting as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) Cornell's Neotropical Birds - Blue Bunting

2) BirdLife International - Blue Bunting

3) Audubon Guide - Blue Bunting

Photo Information: Photo taken by "Stylurus" - March 5th, 2009 in Nicaragua - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Blue Bunting - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Blue Bunting Photos (coming soon!!)