Species Spotlight: Painted Bunting By: Wes Tallyn

There’s not a bird in Florida that is more brilliantly colored than a male Painted Bunting! The male Painted Bunting has a striking array of colored feathers from yellow to blue, green and red. Despite how colorful the feathers are, it is impressive how well-suited and camouflaged they are in their surroundings.

Females are not as colorful as males. The females have greenish/yellow feathers that make it sometimes difficult to identify them, as they have few other field makings to identify them.

Painted Buntings live in grassy areas and dense overgrowth. They mainly feed on seeds that they find on the ground, or they gently pick the seeds off of the surrounding grass. Painted Buntings are more common in Florida in the Winter months, but there are areas of northern Florida where they breed and can be found year-round.

Buntings can often be seen on your backyard feeder, if you fill them with smaller types of bird seed that closely resemble the seeds they would find growing on the ground vegetation. They tend to be very secretive and shy around people but, with some patience, they will present themselves and resume feeding, if you’ve previously scared them off.

Local parks are the best areas to see Painted Buntings. Look for them near dry, dense overgrowth. Typically, areas like this are immediately adjacent to mowed areas, butterfly gardens, adjacent to parking lots and tall grasses under oak trees. Look for them in shady areas on the ground at a park in your neighborhood today!


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