Bird Watcher's Digest: Home Bird Watcher's Digest Magazine Watching Backyard Birds Newsletter The Bird Watcher's Digest App Bird Watcher's Digest Nature Shop

Bird Identification

Painted Bunting

Passerina ciris L 5 ½" (14cm)

Photo by Maslowski Wildlife Productions.

listen to the song/call of the painted bunting

One of the most strikingly patterned of all North American birds, the male painted bunting, with its blue head, red underparts, and yellow-green back more than lives up to its old name of nonpareil, the unequaled one. Even the female, in shades of yellow and green, is unlike any other North American bunting. Like the other buntings, it favors hedgerows, thickets, and clearings with brushy area in the breeding season, generally staying low and keeping hidden. The song is a sweet warble with the pattern of a blue grosbeak, but the tone of an indigo or lazuli bunting without the paired phrases. It breeds in the Southeast along the Atlantic coast and in the southern great Plains south to northern Mexico. In the Southeast, the population has been declining sharply in recent decades and there is concern about its survival in this part of the range. Part of the Southeast population winters in Florida, where the birds are regular feeder visitors. Find locations where you can see this bird »

You Might Like

The Backyard Bird Watcher's Answer Guide

This booklet answers 101 of the most-often-asked questions about birds. Bird Watcher's Digest editor Bill Thompson, III has compiled material from the magazine's decades of answering questions, offering tips and solving problems for backyard bird watchers. Only $4.99 in our store!

An Identification Guide to Common Backyard Birds

This booklet is designed to introduce you to-and help you identify-many of the most common feeder birds in North America. For each species you will find a color photograph, notes about how to identify the species, a summary of its range and the times of year it is present, and general information about the food and the type of feeder it prefers. Only $4.99 in our store!

Thistle Sock Bird Feeder

Sock it to the birds! This Thistle Sock feeder attracts a variety of thistle-loving birds. Its quality nylon construction allows you to enjoy its visitors all season long. Very easy to use and clean. Only $5.00 in our store!

Identifying and Feeding Birds

This readable, friendly guide is intended for bird watchers and non-bird watchers alike—for anyone who wants to enjoy nature right in his or her own backyard. The longtime editor of Bird Watcher's Digest and author of numerous books on birds, Bill Thompson, III, has been feeding and watching birds for 40 years. He has tried everything, and he shares what he's learned so that readers can avoid the mistakes and skip right to successful bird feeding. Only $14.95 in our store!

Reduce Window Strikes With Featherguard

It has been estimated that as many as 975 million birds are killed each year in North America in collisions with glass windows and buildings. FeatherGuard is uniquely effective because it combines bright color, motion, and the birds' natural aversion to loose feathers. In nature loose feathers are often a sign that a bird has been killed by a predator. Try FeatherGuard today and make your windows safer for your wild birds. Only $9.99 in our store!