The Blue Bunting
A Blue Bunting is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Blue Buntings. We have also put together a list of fun Blue Bunting t-shirts, Blue Bunting bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Blue Buntings
The Blue Bunting is a fairly small bird belonging to the passerine species and is native to North America. It is particularly common in Central America. They are the same species as Blue Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Indigo Bunting, and Varied Bunting. It almost looks similar to the Indigo Bunting thus bird watchers may have some difficulties telling the difference. Just like most birds in the same family, the Blue Bunting is sexually dimorphic.
Description and Identification
The Blue Bunting is a relatively small bird approximately 12 cm in length. The male bird is a vibrant
blue in the summer season and brightly colored during their breeding season, which allows them to
attract a partner.
The females on the other hand are completely brown all year round.
Overall they are tiny stocky birds, with short and wide conical bills.
Blue Bunting Color Pattern
Males have a deep blue body with lighter shades of blue on the shoulders, head, and sides around the eyes. Their wingtips are grayish-black as well as their tails. The female differs in appearance as they have an unstreaked warm brown color on their bodies. Their underbelly is slightly pale brown.
Blue Bunting Size
They are small bids when compared to other types of birds in the passerine species. They have a body length measuring about 14cm and a wingspan averaging about 22cm. They have a body mass of about 15g.
Blue Bunting Behavior
The Blue Bunting is a cross-breed between the Indigo Bunting and the Grosbeak Bunting. Though not much information is available on the bird it can be assumed that they may behave like either of the parent breeds.
They mark their territories especially during nesting by singing. This is to let other birds and conspecific species know their territory.
Blue Bunting Food
The diet of these birds includes buds, berries, insects, etc. They feed on seed variety like goldenrods,
dandelion, elderberries, thistles, and a few others.
Summertime shifts their diet to include insects like spiders, caterpillars cicadas, grasshoppers,
worms, caterpillars as well as beetles that include weevils and click beetles.
A wide range of berries is consumed by these species too.
Breeding season and location, yet again causes them to change their diet, which then comprises
buds, twigs, and leaves of trees such as oaks, hickory, elm, and maple.
Their main source of food is insects and seeds. They will eat either depending on location and season. The Blue Bunting eat insects like beetles, caterpillars, and spiders.
Blue Bunting Habitat
The bunting prefers brushy areas such as brushy pastures and bushy wood edges however for
nesting it has been observed that there is an increase in population with forest clearings, meaning it
favors open roadsides, old fields which have grown up to bushes, edges of woodlands, lands
developed into farms and several other habitats which lay along the edge such as along the edge of
intersectional powerlines and open free roadsides. Small clearings observed in deciduous woods are
also a nesting ground for the Blue Bunting, as well as the edges of swamps. They tend to favor open
farm fields during the winter.
They like bushy or weedy fields and shrubs near woodlands. They nest on roadsides using trees and utility poles to hold their nests.
Range and Migration
The Blue Bunting is a long-distance migrant species of bird. Blue Buntings travel and fly about 1,900
kilometers to and from dense breeding or nesting grounds in the eastern parts of North America and
wintering non-breeding areas which range mainly from southern Florida to northern South America.
They largely migrate more or less to the south while wintering, the eastern birds remain towards the
eastern sides of southern America whereas the birds that are to the western parts of North America
remain towards the western side while migrating south during winter. The blue Bunting is a mainly
nocturnal migrator, which means they travel primarily at night.
Blue Bunting Life Cycle
The Blue Bunting has a lifespan of about 2-3 years but can live longer while in captivity. The female Bunting can lay between 3-4 eggs which they keep incubated 12-14 days before they hatch. The young are nested until they take their first flight at approximately 12 days.
Blue Bunting Nesting
Fields, road edges right of the railroad ways, are some of the popular spots used by the blue bunting
to build their nests. The height at which they build the nest is about 1m off the ground.
The female bird settles for a suitable concealed spot for it, which is usually a fork where branches
meet, and among a huge mess of twigs and sticks that help the nest camouflage with the
Sometimes, the bunting may even form the nest amidst crops like soybean or corn.
The nest building is an 8-day process, the males may watch but do not help. Their nest resembles an
open cup made up of a mesh including twigs, leaves, sticks, grasses, barks, etc. Slender grass and
cushioning material like tiny roots, thin bark is used as inner lining. It is a 1.5 inch deep and 3-inch-
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Blue Buntings
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Blue Buntings are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Blue Bunting T-shirts
If you love the Blue Bunting you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Blue Bunting Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Blue Bunting is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Blue Bunting Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and Blue Bunting. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Blue Buntings
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Blue Buntings
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.