WatchList Species Account for Varied Bunting
(Passerina versicolor)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Photo: © Henry D. Detwiler
Photo: Greg Lavaty

The Varied Bunting breeds in the U.S. only near the Mexican border in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Preferred habitat is arid thorn brush, thorn forest, and scrubby woodland. It occurs in only three Breeding Bird Survey routes in Arizona and none in New Mexico and Texas; as a result there is insufficient data to determine its population trends.


The main part of its range is in Mexico, where the striking plumage of the male has led to its being trapped and kept as a cage bird. Increased activity along the international border due to urbanization, mining, and drug enforcement measures, may lead to a loss of habitat.