SCIENTIFIC NAME: Passerina Cyanea
Breeding males are unmistakable, they have a bright blue overall, with a slightly richer blue on the head. Legs and feet are black or gray.
Winter males are browner due to extensive brownish feather fringes, but blue is still apparent on rump, tail, and wings, and often elsewhere.
Females are brown above, and paler below, with some diffuse streaking on the breast and paler edges to wing feathers, sometimes forming indistinct paler wing bars. The females are brown year-round.
Juveniles resemble the females in coloring, although the male may have hints of blue on the tail and shoulders and have darker streaks on the underside.
BILL: short, conical, males have brownish-black bill and females have slight brown tinged with blue.
SIZE: small bird, measuring about 4.5 - 5.1 inches in length.
WEIGHT: weighs about 12 - 18 grams.
COLOR: blue, black, gray, and brown.
Small seeds, berries, buds, and insects.
Brushy forest edges, open deciduous woods, second-growth woodland, and farmland.
BREEDS: Eastern North America, from the Great Plains eastward, south of the coniferous forest region, and some populations in Utah, Arizona, and California.
WINTER: the coastal regions of Mexico, Central America, Northern South America, and Caribbean.
CALL: Include a sharp “tzik” and a short buzzed “bzeet”.
SONG: A variable series of clear, quick, high-pitched phrases, descending in pitch, and fading towards the end.
NEST: The female chooses a concealed nest site in low vegetation and builds a nest in crop plants like corn or soybeans.
EGGS: 1 - 4 white eggs.
INCUBATION: 11 - 14 days, female.
NESTLING PHASE: 8 - 14 days.
They communicate through vocalizations and visual cues. Singing males tend to perch high in shrubs, trees, or on telephone lines.
They forage for seeds and gleaning insects off branches in low vegetation, and hop along the ground and cling athletically to stems and reeds.
The oldest recorded wild Indigo Bunting was a male, and at least 13 years, 3 months old.