Lazuli Buntings are birds of brushy areas, and have actually
benefited from the brushy habitats which often are the result of forest cutting
activities. They are the western counterpart to the East's Indigo
Bunting. Their ranges overlap in South Dakota, and the two species
often interbreed. The brilliantly colored male is shown to the right,
while a photo of the drabber female can be seen on the bottom of the page.
Habitat: Prefers brushy areas, including streamside
thickets, brushy fields, brushy undergrowth along woodland edges, and sometimes
in sagebrush habitats.
Diet: Eats both seeds and insects. The
summer diet includes a great many insects, and spiders, as well as the seeds
of grasses and weeds, and waste grain. The winter diet is primarily
seeds and grains.
Behavior: Usually forages on the ground or by
moving through low vegetation. Males are often seen singing in the
open, while females tend to stay hidden in cover.
Nesting: May and June
Song: High crisp warbling.
Migration: Summers throughout much of the western
United States. Primarily winters in western Mexico.
Conservation Status: Stable in most areas. Numbers are
locally much higher than historical levels, due to the brushy second-growth
habitat that often results from forest cutting activities.
Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for small grains and
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Lazuli Bunting"
eNature.com: Lazuli Bunting
Photo Information: May 6th, 2008 - Near Tucson,
Arizona - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Lazuli Bunting photos.