Painted Bunting at the Bird Feeder
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – NORTH MIAMI, FL
This is a photograph of a Painted Bunting taken at a bird feeder in my backyard. The camera gear used in this photo was a Nikon D90 attached to a Tamron 28-300mm lens.
The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) is a species of bird in the Cardinal family, Cardinalidae, that is native to North America.
The male Painted Bunting is often described as the most beautiful bird in North America. Its colors, dark blue head, green back, red rump and under parts, make it extremely easy to identify, but it can still be difficult to spot since it often skulks in foliage even when it is singing. The plumage of female and juvenile Painted Buntings is green and yellow-green, serving as camouflage. Once seen, the adult female is still distinctive, since it is one of the only truly green birds native to the United States. Adult painted buntings can measure 12–14 cm (4.7–5.5 in) in length, span 21–23 cm (8.3–9.1 in) across the wings and weigh 13–19 g (0.46–0.67 oz).
Painted Bunting are shy, secretive and often difficult to observe for the human eye, though can be fairly approachable where habituated to bird feeders. Males sing in spring from exposed perches to advertise their territories. They also engage in visual displays including flying bouncingly like a butterfly or in an upright display, body-fluff display, bow display and wing-quiver display. These displays are used in agonistic conflicts with other males or in breeding displays for females, with females rarely engaging in displays. Occasionally, males may physical clash with each other and may even kill each other in such conflicts. When their breeding season has concluded, buntings migrate by night over short to medium distances. Western birds (Arizona & northern Mexico) molt in mid-migration, while eastern birds tend to molt before they migrate.