WatchList Species Account for Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Painted Bunting
Photo: Patricia Velte,

The Painted Bunting, one of the most colorful of all U.S.-breeding birds, has two disjunct breeding populations: one in the south-central states and adjoining Mexico, and the other along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to central Florida.


The birds winter in south Florida and Cuba, the latter in low numbers, and in Mexico and Central America. For the period 1966-1995, Breeding Bird Survey data show a decline of 3.2% per year.


Coastal development in the East and loss of riparian migrant stopover habitat in the West may be affecting the population. This species is particularly vulnerable to cowbird parasitism. The Painted Bunting is a popular cage bird in some countries, and is trapped for that purpose by the thousands on its wintering grounds, particularly in Mexico.