Bird of the Week: Indigo Bunting

Ten Facts About Indigo Bunting

1. Indigo Bunting are migratory, they breed throughout the eastern United States and winter in Mexico, Central and South America.

2. According to a 1967 study by The Auk publication, Indigo Bunting use stars to orient themselves during migration.

3. Indigo Bunting primarily eat seeds but shift their diet towards insects while breeding. Favorite sources of wild seed include Goldenrod and Field Thistle.


4. Indigo Bunting are members of the same family (Cardinalidae) as the Northern Cardinal and Scarlet Tanager. But are closer relatives to the more similar looking Painted and Lazuli Buntings.

5. Despite the name, only the head of the Indigo Bunting is considered to be indigo colored, the rest of the body is actually closer to a shade of cerulean blue.

6. Male Indigo Bunting are often heard singing from treetops and telephone wires – they sing to claim territory and attract females.

7. Indigo Bunting are a favorite of birdwatchers and photographers due to the male’s magnificent color.

8. Indigo Bunting occasionally visit bird feeders – their favorite feeder seed is millet.

Indigo Bunting at birdfeeder, eating millet seed

9. Indigo Bunting are most commonly found in open fields and woodlands.

10. An Indigo Bunting nest is built entirely by the female.

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